What Is Breast Augmentation?

Breast augmentation enhances and reshapes a woman’s breasts and increases breast size through the placement of silicone or saline implants and/or fat grafts. Many women choose breast augmentation surgery to have fuller, larger breasts. Others seek to counteract the effects of significant weight changes, as well as signs of aging. Breast augmentation or breast implants are the most requested plastic surgery procedure for women seeking mommy makeovers. Most often, the goal of breast augmentation is a more balanced and feminine figure.


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Why Choose Dr. Zenn For Your Breast Augmentation?

  • Dr. Zenn was among Newsweek's top ten America's Best Plastic Surgeons 2022 and 2023 for Breast Augmentation 
  • Dr. Zenn’s peers consistently recognize him as a master breast surgeon
  • By invitation, Dr. Zenn often teaches techniques of breast surgery around the globe
  • Dr. Zenn has published multiple textbook chapters and articles about breast surgery
  • Dr. Zenn performs complex breast augmentations and revisions using his extensive experience in cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery
  • He is a Castle Connolly Top Doctor for Reconstructive Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery

Dr. Zenn’s Approach To Breast Implants

Dr. Zenn thoughtfully considers each patient’s goals, preferences, and unique anatomy when planning their breast augmentation in Raleigh. As a skilled cosmetic breast surgeon, Dr. Zenn has the ability to perform procedures using a variety of advanced surgical techniques. Additionally, Dr. Zenn has in-depth knowledge of the nuanced aesthetic techniques needed for natural-looking, long-lasting results.

Choosing The Right Type Of Implant

Typically, Dr. Zenn favors round and smooth silicone implants. In his experience, these implants tend to offer the most natural appearance whether the patient is standing up, lying down or being active. Dr. Zenn has patients try on various-sized implants during their consultation to best determine the desired breast size. This eliminates surprises after surgery with breasts smaller or larger than anticipated.

Best Placement For Breast Implants

Dr. Zenn recommends above-the-muscle implant placement when possible. For the majority of his patients, this provides the most natural-appearing outcome without the problems associated with under-the-muscle placement, such as unwanted movement of the breasts with activity and discomfort.

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Breast Augmentation Before & After

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When To Consider A Combination Procedure

Based on their aesthetic goals and body type, Dr. Zenn counsels patients on whether they should consider breast augmentation alone or in conjunction with a breast lift. Many patients benefit from the reshaping effects of a lift as well as the increased fullness of an augmentation.

“Dr. Zenn is definitely the best surgeon in the specialty of Plastic and Reconstructive surgery. I had the honor to work with him as an OR Nurse and had seen only wonderful outcomes. He had to be my surgeon, no doubt about it! Dr. Zenn has great bedside manners; he is very professional and knowledgeable, caring and compassionate. He helped me choose the right size of implants for my body frame and explained to me every step of the procedure, from the registration to recovery. He followed up with post-op calls himself and with his wonderful nurse JoAnn. If you are looking for breast augmentation that has a natural look to feel confident and beautiful, you must come and see Dr. Zenn.”

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Precise Implant Positioning Is Key

Some surgeons place implants in a position under the muscle that is higher than the desired final results.

After several weeks or months, the muscle and breast skin stretches, the implants descend, and the breasts take on their final, more natural shape.

Dr. Zenn’s patients can often avoid this delay. He uses a more deliberate and exacting approach that positions the implants precisely, which allows patients to see the benefits of their surgery sooner. Placement of the implants above the muscle also limits the pain associated with surgery and removes the annoying breast movement (“animation deformity”) seen with submuscular placement.

Your Plastic Surgery Consultation

During your initial visit to Zenn Plastic Surgery, you will have the opportunity to get to know Dr. Zenn and discuss your aesthetic goals. Dr. Zenn will spend as much time as necessary with you to develop a shared understanding of your ideal look after your breast augmentation in Brier Creek. He will show you his extensive gallery of before and after photos so you can see results with patients who have a similar body type to yours.

The Initial Examination

There is an exam as part of your initial consultation during which Dr. Zenn will take note of your body’s unique anatomy. You will have the chance to see how you would look after augmentation by trying on different sizes of implants. This will allow you to get a realistic idea of how you will look in your clothes after surgery (and is usually the most fun part of the consultation!).

In every case Dr. Zenn takes on, his goal is to ensure that your results:

  • Have the most pleasing shape possible, both in and out of clothes
  • Appear natural, full, and symmetrical
  • Avoid the all-to-common unnatural appearance of implants that are placed too high or spread too far apart
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Some Common Consultation Topics

The consultation is your opportunity to ask all the questions you’ve ever had about breast augmentation. Common topics include:

  • Over the muscle vs. under the muscle placement
  • Round vs. shaped, smooth vs. textured implants
  • What’s the buzz about Gummy Bear implants? 

Dr. Zenn is happy to share his expertise with you. To him, there is no question too small. Dr. Zenn and the whole team want you to be comfortable with your decision to have breast augmentation and very confident in your choice of a plastic surgeon.

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Your Breast Augmentation Experience

All Zenn Plastic Surgery patients have their procedures performed at the state-of-the-art facility, The Plastic Surgery Center (TPSC). A dedicated board-certified anesthesiologist (MD) helps patients sleep safely and comfortably throughout the surgery. Patients wake up with little or no pain, sore throat, or queasiness.

What Occurs During The Procedure

On the day of your breast augmentation, Dr. Zenn will review the surgery plan with you and answer any final questions. Next, he will make marks to guide the breast augmentation surgery.

Dr. Zenn will place incisions with a focus on minimizing scarring and speeding up your recovery. Next, the desired implant sizers will be inserted, and any necessary small adjustments will be made before placing the implants. Dr. Zenn will ensure that your breasts have a symmetrical, natural appearance, whether you are upright or lying down.

Your Recovery From Breast Augmentation Surgery

Following your breast augmentation in Raleigh, you will go home and rest. You will see Dr. Zenn in-office the next morning for your post-surgery examination. You may shower the first day after your surgery. Most patients require 2-3 days of rest and minimal activity before returning to work. It’s not uncommon to have soreness, swelling, and tenderness in your breasts and the surrounding areas as you heal, but this is easily hidden by clothes. You can resume regular gym workouts 2-4 weeks after surgery. Dr. Zenn will see you two months after surgery for your final exam and photos.

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Dr. Zenn's Breast Augmentation Patient Reviews


Dr. Zenn is personable and professional, compassionate and competent! In addition to being an amazingly talented plastic surgeon, he is also warm, welcoming, and understanding. Dr. Zenn listens, gives advice, and then listens again. I highly recommen...


As an experienced provider, most times I set the bar a little to high, but Jo Ann Garofalo, RN and Dr. Zenn consistently sailed right over it. If you are looking for seamless, comprehensive, compassionate care with superior surgical talent, consider ...


I am in the medical field and had the opportunity to see examples of Dr. Zenn’s expertise in reconstructive surgery over the course of many (10+) years. At the time I had no plans to pursue cosmetic surgery but I knew if I did ever decide or need to ...

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Breast Augmentation FAQ

How will breast augmentation affect future pregnancies?

Does breast augmentation interfere with breastfeeding after pregnancy?

Why do some women have numbness after breast augmentation?

How do you decide what size implant is best for a patient?

Dr. Zenn didn’t perform my breast augmentation. Would he do the revision?

How will breast augmentation affect future pregnancies?

Breast augmentation poses no health risks to the baby or mother during pregnancy. However, pregnancy can affect the results of breast augmentation. Pregnancy causes a woman’s body to undergo natural changes, often including the breasts. Some women find their breasts increase in size while pregnant, while others see a noticeable decrease. Every woman is different. Breasts may change size or shape during or after pregnancy, so even though your implants remain unchanged, your actual breasts may look different. The surrounding breast tissue can change significantly or minimally – everyone’s breasts respond to pregnancy differently. For those whose breasts sag after pregnancy, the implants will still provide some lift to the breasts. Some women with post-pregnancy sag choose to have a breast lift, leaving the implants alone and just addressing the breast shape. For others who want to get the shape of their pre-pregnancy breasts back, Dr. Zenn performs a Breast Augmentation Revision by repositioning or exchanging implants to a different size, with or without a breast lift.

Does breast augmentation interfere with breastfeeding after pregnancy?

There are some women who are unable to breastfeed after pregnancy with breast implants in place. But keep in mind, approximately 25% of American women are unable to breastfeed without any surgery performed. Technically, every woman should be able to breastfeed after breast augmentation because the nipple is never separated from the breast gland. Dr. Zenn carefully chooses precise placement for incisions during the augmentation procedure so the breast gland is never disturbed. Typically, he makes incisions around the areola or under the breast as an entry point. If you are considering getting pregnant in the near future, Dr. Zenn recommends waiting for breast augmentation surgery until after you give birth and finish breastfeeding.

Why do some women have numbness after breast augmentation?

Numbness is related to injury of the nerves that run into the breast, which can happen while the pocket is being created to hold the new implant. Nerve damage can occur whether the implant is above or below the pectoralis muscle. The location of the incision does not affect the sensation of the nipple. The bigger the implant, the greater the risk for numbness. Numbness can make breastfeeding difficult if the normal response of the nipple is blunted or eliminated. For Dr. Zenn’s patients, the occurrence of permanent numbness is extremely rare.

How do you decide what size implant is best for a patient?

You will have the chance to choose your implant size during your consultation. Dr. Zenn will recommend the ideal size range for implants according to what will fit on your chest. Then with the help of Lissa, Dr. Zenn’s nurse, you will try on different sizes (under a bra) until you have a good idea of what you want. This will allow you to get a realistic idea of how you will look after surgery (and is usually the most fun part of the consultation!). We do not use any imaging technology to predict what you will look like post-augmentation for one very good reason – they don’t work. Dr. Zenn’s experience with these technologies is that they do not accurately predict post-surgical results. He considers them more of a marketing gimmick. When it comes to sizing for breast implants, placing an actual implant inside your bra is the way to go!

Dr. Zenn didn’t perform my breast augmentation. Would he do the revision?

Breast augmentation is the most common plastic surgery procedure in the US, and therefore most plastic surgeons perform this surgery. However, revision of breast augmentation requires particular expertise in breast surgery and years of experience fixing problems for all different reasons in all different body types. No other plastic surgeon in the Research Triangle has more experience or stronger proven results with secondary breast surgery than Dr. Zenn. It is not uncommon for Dr. Zenn to see patients who have had 2-3 attempts at revision before finally coming to Dr. Zenn to fix their problem. Dr. Zenn has many tools at his disposal to treat botched breast augmentations, which he honed during his nearly 30 years of medical practice, with a focus on breast surgery. Dr. Zenn has seen it all, and has successfully helped patients who had given up hope achieve the breasts of their dreams.

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