I Had Under the Muscle Memory Gel Implants on Jan. 8th 2013. They Looked Wrong from Right After Surgery? (photo)

Still in pain as well as they still look terrible.After Doctor was mean & unprofessional & found a reconstruction dr to remove drains & stitches. I never felt so humiliated in all my life. I was a 600 cc above muscle before & wanted to go 700 cc & he put in 500 cc with no warning. So I'm deformed looking & smaller. This has been a night mare. Why am I still in so much pain & why do I look like this- Please help me. I can not go on looking so deformed & in such pain. Please tell me if I have any options.

Doctor Answers 6

Talk to your surgeon

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I am sorry to hear that you’ve had a bad experience. You should definitely see your surgeon to talk about the pain you're experiencing, as most pain can be well controlled with prescribed medication. Please wait about 3-4 months for your breasts to settle before assessing your results, as they may adopt a more natural contour as you recover. 

Subglandular to Submuscular and Decrease in Volume

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  A switch from subglandular to submuscular is the reason for the increased pain, common after submuscular.  In addition, the implants will have to drop when the muscles begin to relax.  Massage can be helpful with this.  In general, the switch from subglandular to submuscular and the reduction in implant volume tends to make the breasts look droopier.

Revision Breast Augmentation

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I can tell that you are very upset and hurting.  But I do want to give you hope!  If you switched from over the muscle to under the muscle (which I'm guessing you did from your story and the use of drains) then that is why you have more pain.  Lifting up the muscle stretches it and dissecting the bottom is uncomfortable.  Some women feel a little pain and some are really uncomfortable for a couple of weeks - it's just different for everyone.  Right now your implants look higher than your breast and it really takes a full month for the implants to relax down into the proper location when you first put them under the muscle.  I also think you will probably want a breast lift.  If you are unhappy with your size, you will likely want a larger implant - memory gel implants do look smaller under the muscle than over as your pectoralis muscle pushes them down.  You may ask your doctor for a muscle relaxant for the discomfort and hang in there for a full month before you decide on your results.  Good luck!

Unhappy right after surgery!

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One early post-op photograph and your obviously-upset description (key words: "looked wrong," " looked terrible," "mean and unprofessional," "humiliated," "deformed," "nightmare," "deformed & in such pain") are insufficient to try to be of assistance. There has been (and still appears to be) a significant gap in your surgeon's and your ability to convey and/or understand what was requested, what was done (and why), and just what to expect.

Assuming you had surgery by an ABPS-certified plastic surgeon experienced in secondary breast surgery, there is much additional information needed, including your surgeon's input. One solution to your being upset is to see another surgeon, which you apparently have done for suture and drain removal. Yet, even if you were/are upset with your surgeon, this was part of the job you paid him for, and if one of my patients took it upon themselves to interrupt my care without a good reason (lots of secondary breast surgery patients don't look "perfect" immediately after surgery), I might be upset at my patient (who would then perhaps consider my response as "mean and unprofessional.")

Truly, at this point it's only conjecture at to the exact truth of events, but my best advice would be to obtain your surgeon's operative report, a copy of your pre-operative photos, and seek additional information from an ABPS-certified plastic surgeon experienced in revision breast surgery. You can then explore your going-forward options as your breasts heal from this surgery. Time and implants dropping into place may actually make things look not so bad at all. Re-operating precipitously and in a reactionary fashion while tissues are not yet healed may only create new or more severe problems!

Perhaps you can rebuild your relationship with your present surgeon (if he's one of the aforementioned ABPS-certified plastic surgeons you SHOULD be dealing with), but you must approach him without anger or blame in a collaborative and accepting tone. Even doctors tend to get defensive when attacked, especially when it's not deserved and based on lack of understanding or awareness of "WHY" you look the way you do. BTW, that's not entirely your fault--your surgeon should have informed you better, explained more clearly, outlined reasons for the decisions made, and communicated this to you in a way that was understandable. Once that's done, then it's your job to listen, learn, and continue with the trust you placed in your surgeon when you chose him to do your surgery in the first place.

Otherwise, your surgeon is out of your present loop, you have no way of knowing what your surgeon did or intended, no way of receiving proper post-op instructions to optimize your results, and a "new doctor" who has to try to pick up mid-stream without this critical information or awareness of your surgeon's thought process, decision-making, and plans. (An experienced ABPS-certified plastic surgeon would have had this prepared BEFORE operating--but the present surgeon is trying to come-on-board after the fact.)

I am truly sorry you are so unsettled and upset; perhaps you can proceed along the lines I've drawn and this will all work out. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

New implants?

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Sorry that you are unhappy. It is difficult to know exactly how to respond without having more information.  I think the first thing you need to do is talk with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

They Looked Wrong from Right After Surgery?

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Sorry to hear about your course and your dissatisfaction. There is not quite enough info to go on here. For example, I don't know why you had the repeat surgery. If it was primarily to get larger implants, this is really hard to understand!  What would be most useful to the surgeons here at Realself would be to see some pre-op photos,and better post-op photos. These appear to have been taken from above and would be more useful to us if taken level. 

Certainly getting you at least back to your original volume or larger is in order. It may be that a breast lift would also be recommended. 

Thank you for your question and for the posted photos. Best wishes. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.