Detailed Review of Silicone Gel Breast Augmentation Performed by Dr. Jeffrey Zwiren - Atlanta, GA
***My surgery was performed in January 2013. I had...
- 18 Feb 2013
***My surgery was performed in January 2013. I had Allergan silicone gel implants, 475cc in one and 450cc in the other.***
I went to two other consultations with very popular surgeons before I found Dr. Zwiren's office, and I am so glad I did. My other consultations went sort-of okay, but they were nowhere near as thorough as Dr. Zwiren was and they wanted close to $1,000 and $600 more each for the same surgery. (I received a discount on operating costs through a winter cosmetic surgery special Gwinnett Medical was running.)
I felt like the first doctor was more interested in capitalizing on my excitement for the procedure to secure a surgery appointment than she was interested in being a doctor and talking to me as a patient. It was kind of like "Pick a size and sign here!" The second doctor had a pretty cold personality and downplayed all the known risks of surgery, which made him seem untrustworthy. Dr. Zwiren was an improvement over both of them. While his personality is a bit stoic, I feel confident saying that he is extremely knowledgeable in his craft and is genuinely interested in the patient's well-being. He spent much more time with me than either of the other doctors and didn't so much as glance at his watch (I left after his office had closed!).
He provided thorough, thoughtful answers to every question I had and perhaps most importantly, did NOT gloss over the complications and risks of the surgery. I want a doctor who will give it to me straight, and any girl who has gone to a few breast augmentation consultations will realize that some doctors seem more like salesmen than physicians when it comes to elective cosmetic surgery. They're out to make money so downplaying the risks is what lines their pockets. Not so with Dr. Zwiren. He is very honest, realistic, and has an excellent presentation during their consults that is extremely thorough and delves into every aspect of the surgery that I can think of, citing specific data and numbers from studies that have been done to determine the frequency of specific complications. It also has video of a real BA surgery (eek!) and contains lots of pictures that help a patient visualize the placement of implants, how the surgery is performed and how that will effect the healing process. He also took careful measurements, told me so many things the other surgeons didn't about my specific anatomy, and some things that I hadn't seen online in my countless hours of research. He reassured me with the steps they take during surgery to prevent complications like capsular contracture which keeps their statistics for that complication very low.
But one of the neatest perks about choosing Dr. Zwiren was their use of the 3D software to develop a true-to-life preview of what different sizes and shapes of implants would look like on me. He says that for the average patient, their final post-op result is accurate to the computer-generated preview within millimeters. I have an asymmetry, so this was especially useful to me to see how the implants would look when all was said and done. Doing all this during each consult must surely take a lot of his time, but I left feeling very confident in my decision and knowing without a doubt that I had chosen a knowledgeable doctor. I'm looking forward to my pre-op visit today to finalize my plans with Dr. Zwiren.
A few words of advice for other women in their search for the right doctor. Something I've figured out in my travels, it's common sense, but....if you walk into a plastic surgeon's office and it looks like the Buckingham Palace inside with elaborate chandeliers and expensive paintings and furnishings....there's a reeeeeeally good chance you're being overcharged for the procedure, haha. Dr. Zwiren's office is nice, but not TOO nice, if that makes sense. By no means am I the type to skimp on something this important just to save a buck, but if you can find a better surgeon who charges less with just as many satisfied patients.....why wouldn't you? Also look out for fake reviews....so many surgeon's offices looked so good when you Googled them, but if you actually READ the reviews, look at the dates they were posted, note the style of the writing / some of the phrases used etc., it becomes pretty apparent that someone with a vested interest wrote them to optimize their search engine results. Bad bad bad!
I did my pre-op yesterday and I can't believe that's the last time I'll be in there until surgery date, which is LESS THAN A WEEK from now! Yikes! We went over what to do and what not to do prior to surgery, I was given a packet of some kind of anti-bacterial wash to cleanse 'the girls' the night before and morning of surgery, they gave me all my prescriptions ahead of time so they'd already be filled, and we took my pre-op breast photos. I also discussed increasing my size by 25ccs in each breast with Dr. Zwiren and he went over the pros and cons with me until we reached a decision. (We will go up in size.) He also took the time to re-do my 3D Spectra results with the bigger implants, which he didn't have to do, and printed them out so I could show others. When I asked for warranty information on the implants just before leaving, he searched high and low until he found the pamphlet I'd asked for. I paid for the surgery before I left and that was it! Next time I'm back in there, it will be 10 AM for my surgery. I'm still more excited than nervous, but I know the morning of the surgery, I'll probably go into panic mode and second guess the whole thing, haha. This time next week it'll all be finished!
5 WEEKS POST-OP
5 weeks out and I couldn't be happier with my decision. I was pretty nervous the day of, but they gave me IV meds before surgery to make me loopy and not long after, I woke up in post-op feeling like I had taken a hammer to the chest. It sounds awful, but the pain was manageable, it was just uncomfortable. The worst pain was perhaps the next day and the day after that, but it seemed to taper off after the first week or so. I did have to call Dr. Zwiren once because my pain meds kept wearing off too quickly, but when I followed his suggestion to take the nausea pills alongside the pain medicine, that somehow seemed to help extend the useful life of the pain medication. I did feel nauseous post-op, and allllllmost puked when I walked from the car to the house after surgery, but that went away within the first 48 hours or so.
The first 2 or so weeks were the most uncomfortable...I didn't like showering much because of the incision and the water hitting the tightened skin on my breasts, sleeping was uncomfortable because the implants still felt like bowling balls under my skin, and I most certainly hated having the tape over the incisions, that was very uncomfortable for many reasons and removing the tape was highly unpleasant and made me quite squeamish. And the adhesive hangs on for dear life - I'm now at 5 weeks out and stopped the tape at 3 weeks and I *still* have icky gray adhesive residue under my breasts that just won't go away, not even with alcohol or nail polish remover. Sitting up in bed by myself was pretty hard for the first week or two (I got used to scooting on my butt to reposition myself) and leaning forward (i.e. to sit or reach for something) was uncomfortable for 2+ weeks. The implants just feel really heavy and cumbersome when the skin is still so tight. But from what I remember Dr. Zwiren saying, the weight of silicone implants is very closely comparable to the weight of natural breast tissue.
My breasts were actually what I would call presentable immediately after surgery, which was a pleasant surprise. They were up high, but did not look freakish or overly square like I've seen in some post-op photos. They were quite firm, however, especially at the top of the cleavage where the muscle is. But now 5 weeks out and I can confidently say they really do look completely natural. They have a good natural position on the chest, don't stick out too much or sit up too high, and don't have any sign of the telltale roundness that gives implants a bad name. Even better, I can't even feel the outline of the implant under my skin. I didn't think implants could be this natural, but the silicone gel is amazing stuff. They are already much softer than they started out, but apparently I still have a long way to go with that which is impressive. I think now if a stranger walked up to me and squeezed my boobs (and let's hope they don't, there's laws against that....) they wouldn't know I had implants. Each week is an improvement over the last, and I'm still getting better and better with the skin relaxing enough to allow the boobs to migrate together to form decent cleavage and they're just now starting to be bouncy. Sleeping on my side is much more comfortable now that the breasts can rest against each other rather than them being too stiff and just being suspended outward like a Barbie doll on its side. Sleeping on my stomach is still uncomfortable usually unless I have a very soft pillow under me, but that is improving as well.
The only issue I think I've had is some burning in the incisions and numbness on the surface of the breast, which is minor and I anticipate that will be temporary. I have seen some improvements there. I have a 2 year old and lifting her or anything heavy makes the incision and muscular pain flare up. It's uncomfortable to reach high or put strain on the incision area. But overall, this whole experience was a breeze.
An added bonus: I received a free box of Lastisse from Allergan in the mail about two weeks after my surgery, just for purchasing their silicone gel implants.
My only very slight gripe would be at one of the post-op visits, a nurse or assistant was touching the area around my incisions and trimming the stitches with no gloves on and without washing her hands after she walked in the room. I think the risk of infection or complications from this is probably very low, but it would just have made me feel better to have her wear gloves since she's touching an area that, by her own admission, is still vulnerable to infection. I guess another gripe would be that the gentleman administering my anesthesia the day of surgery was humorless and no-nonsense almost to the point of being rude (my husband even noticed). At a time when I was so nervous and unsure of what was happening, I would have really appreciated more warmth from him, but the other nurses in the OR and especially the one tending to me in post-op were very sweet and reassuring. I appreciate how the girl at the front desk refers to me by name at each visit and asks how I'm doing. I otherwise have nothing but praise for Dr. Zwiren and his staff.
Bedside manner of Dr. Zwiren: 7/10 (I can tell he sometimes forgets the details of my surgery, which is understandable given the number of faces he sees, and again, he's a bit stoic, but I still like him.)
Bedside manner of nurses and assistants: 7.5 / 10 (Not the most outstanding and welcoming personalities but no serious complaints.)
Receptionist: 10/10 (Polite, smiling, calls you by name, tries to accomodate you with scheduling appointments.)
Wait time at appointments: 10/10 (I'm usually seen no less than 5 minutes after my arrival, even if I'm a little early.)
Results of surgery 5 weeks post-op: 8.5/10 (Still a work in progress but I feel that the results are very satisfactory so far.)
Overall satisfaction: 9/10 (I'm so glad I did this!)
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Dr. Zwiren to a friend considering cosmetic surgery. I hope my review helps someone trying to find the right surgeon and drives business to a deserving practice! I will update this review if anything changes in my post-operative progress or my experience with Dr. Zwiren.
Gwinnett Medical Center's website