What is breast augmentation, and how does it work? 

Breast augmentation, also known as breast enlargement, augmentation mammoplasty, or simply a "boob job," is a surgical operation that enlarges the size, shape, or fullness of the breasts.

Some women are dissatisfied with the form and size of their breasts and wish to alter their appearance. Many of them are looking for safe and effective solutions to improve breast size and shape and reverse changes caused by weight gain, loss, aging, or pregnancy. Women who want larger, different-shaped breasts, women who have had breast tissue removed (lumpectomy or mastectomy), and women with underdeveloped or asymmetric breasts are all candidates for this procedure.

Suppose you're thinking about having breast augmentation surgery. Whether it's an augmentation or a breast lift (mastopexy), you'll want to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. That's why it's crucial to do research before choosing a plastic surgeon.

Dr. Zenn takes a systematic and precise approach to breast augmentation, allowing patients to realize the benefits of their procedures soon after surgery. For most of Dr. Zenn's patients, breast implants are placed over the muscles, which is the natural position of the breast. Not only does this placement provide more natural results, but it also reduces discomfort after surgery. Furthermore, it eliminates irritating breast movements ("animation deformity") that occurs when implants are placed under the muscle.

Silicone breast implants are the most commonly used implants in the world. Although saline implants are filled with saltwater, and silicone implants are filled with silicone, both have an outer silicone shell.

Okay, now you know what a breast augmentation is, so how do you know if yours was botched?

Below are a few indicators that your breast augmentation surgery went wrong:

Your implants have a very firm feel from the start.

Do your implants feel hard and brittle rather than soft and elastic just a few weeks after surgery? This condition is often a result of bleeding during or after surgery or an infection around the implants, either symptomatic (fever, chills, redness) or asymptomatic. You should be seen by your surgeon immediately if these symptoms occur.

Implants that aren't in the correct place

In some situations, your surgeon may have mistakenly placed one breast implant higher than the other. If you find yourself with this uneven situation, you should consult with your surgeon on how to correct it. Uneven breast augmentations are often a result of a poor plan or design by the surgeon or not recognizing baseline differences between the breasts and chest wall on each side of the chest (every patient has unique anatomy.) It may also be a sign of poor surgical technique. These problems generally necessitate corrective surgery to achieve the desired outcomes.

You've had a deflation within the first few weeks of surgery

Breast implant rupture around the time of surgery is usually due to trauma to the implant during the insertion and not a manufacturer defect. If your saline implants leak, you will notice them altering shape over a few days to weeks as they slowly lose their volume. On the other hand, silicone breaks are more difficult to detect, and symptoms such as unusual chest lumps, pain, or swelling may not become evident for months to years. Silicone ruptures are often diagnosed during mammography and confirmed with MRI.

You've got wrinkled skin or depressions in the breast shape

Wrinkling around your implant or depressions that do not disappear within the first weeks of surgery should be discussed with your surgeon because it could indicate that the implant pocket was not appropriately created by the surgeon and the implant and breast shape may not settle out over time. Your skin should be smooth after a breast augmentation.

Are you unhappy with the results of breast augmentation?

Breast augmentation has a very high level of patient satisfaction: according to some statistics, 98% of women are happy with their results after surgery. Chances are, if you have Dr. Zenn's breast augmentation surgery, you will be very happy. Naturally, problems can arise, some of which (mentioned above) are inevitable. Call and book a consultation with Dr. Zenn if you have issues with implants or are unhappy with the results of breast augmentation done elsewhere. He is a very experienced breast surgeon who has performed tens of thousands of both primary and secondary augmentation procedures.

Why may secondary breast augmentation be required?

Generally, secondary breast augmentation occurs when the conditions described above have occurred. Sometimes, the implants are actually fine, but the breast tissue overlying the implant has changed. The need for another breast augmentation may arise for a variety of reasons, including a change in cosmetic desires, weight changes, childbirth, and breastfeeding, or other reasons such as:

  • Capsular contracture - Capsular contracture is a complication of breast augmentation that occurs when the scar tissue surrounding the implant contracts, making the breast feel firm and appear smaller, higher in the chest, and even deformed.
  • Implant Rupture - Your implant must be replaced if it leaks. When a silicone implant ruptures, MRI imaging tests are frequently required.
  • Sagging - Many women adore their implants for years, only to eventually decide they are no longer happy with the results due to the natural changes in gravity. If this happens, a breast lift can be done at the same time as an implant exchange or second breast augmentation.
  • Changing needs - As women get older, they may be aware that their breast size needs to change. Some people want to get bigger, and others want to be smaller. Changes in size are not always medically necessary, but Dr. Zenn will explain your options.

If you're suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, you should see your surgeon and consider a second opinion from an ABPS board-certified plastic surgeon. They will be able to verify that you've had a botched breast augmentation and, if so, what kind of treatment you need and what options are available. Many patients who see Dr. Zenn for a second opinion are surprised by the many options to correct their problems. Often, Dr. Zenn offers solutions that do not involve removing their original implants, such as fat grafting or mesh support procedures.

In the end, the quality of your breast augmentation surgery and your happiness will be determined by several aspects. Most important is your plastic surgeon's experience and skill to do the best procedure for your body to deliver results you love safely and with the lowest chance of complications. 

Dr. Zenn has a natural aesthetic and will not allow his patients to choose implants that he believes are too big or small for their frame. He knows from experience that extra-large implants on a small frame will lead to problems down the line.

In addition to being named "Best Doctors in America" for many years, Dr. Zenn was voted as one of the Top 10 Breast Augmentation Surgeons in the US by Newsweek in 2021, 2022 and 2023. See the article here: America's Best Plastic Surgeons. He also has the unique distinction of being named Top Cosmetic Doctor and Top Cancer Specialist by Castle Connolly. He was named one of the "Three Best Plastic Surgeons" in Raleigh for 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023.

Check out Zenn Plastic Surgery's online image gallery for before-and-after photos.

Call Zenn Plastic Surgery today at (919) 480-3885 to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Zenn.

If you feel you have had a botched breast augmentation, you should seek the opinion of a competent, board-certified plastic surgeon to have your case evaluated.

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