**Warning this blog is controversial and you may not agree with my decision or opinion** tough!
This blog post is for the curious, nosey and intrigued girls that haven’t been able to find the information and answers to their questions on the subject of, breast augmentation.
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by boobs. I remember being desperate to have boobs as a kid and then by almost magical, one day I woke up with a 34B chest – I was 11! I was then teased for having bigger boobs than the rest of the girls in my year and regretted wasting my birthday wishes each year! Eventually I was just like everyone else and blended in. I kept growing and ended up with a respectable sized 32C/D chest. During the early 00’s I was in my early 20’s and thanks to the likes of Jordan aka Katie Price, it was fashionable to have a good sized chest. I recall we all would buy those bras with the built in chicken fillets or purchased the best booster Wonderbra we could afford, to achieve the ‘stuck on fake tits’ look we all wanted.
Plastic surgery seemed so out of reach and only celebrities in Hollywood could afford things like that! As life does I met various girls through different avenues and discovered that there was more silicone in normal life than I first thought.
Pre-OP, as you can see I wasn’t very full.
Even though I had an ample sized chest I had never had pert boobs and always had to think about what bra I could wear with an outfit, or how would my boobs sit in that new top everyone is wearing. I was very conscious of what my chest looked like. Swimwear was a nightmare.
I wanted pert, big boobs, and I decided that I was now mid 20’s and if I wasn’t going to do it now, when was I? Your 20’s are for living. During your late teenage years you’re still growing up, in your 20’s you discover who you are and are pretty carefree. So far during my 30’s I have realised that life gets a bit more grown up and serious! So, as I said I bit the bullet and made a few appointments with various cosmetic companies for a consultation.
8 years ago I found myself walking into the receptions of clinics, waiting to be called in. I had consultations with Transform, MUA, The Hospital Group and Nuffield. Each varied massively. Some had their own permanent clinic locally to me, others had almost a pop-up clinic in a random office block, some welcomed me with a smile and knew exactly why I was there where as others had a bit of paper on a clipboard they stared at for 5 minutes before looking down at me asking “Sorry, who are you and what procedure are you here for?”.
The companies that didn’t impress me were the ones in the pop-up clinic in an office block, then not even expecting me to arrive for my consultation. My thought were, if they can’t even get my name right and know why I am here today, why would I trust them to opening me up with a knife?
Once I was past the reception fiasco, I was always given the sales pitch from the advisor about what their hospital is like, some impressive statistics and then being told that they have ‘the best surgeons’. They all say that! As I said after the sales pitch, I was shown through another door to meet my potential Surgeon.
This is a rare photo of me in a bikini, before my implants
Before this process started, I knew what I wanted, but I was open to an opinion and guidance form a professional. The Surgeons also varied massively in character, charm (lack of in some cases) and opinion in what was best for me. During one consultaion I asked the surgeon which size implant I should go for to achieve a much larger sized chest and his reply, “You tell me what size implant, I will insert.” This was the last thing I wanted to hear. I wanted to be advised what size implant would give me the larger chest I wanted, but wouldn’t make my petite size 8, 5’2″ frame look ridiculous.
The last consultation I had booked was with The Hospital Group. They have a permanent clinic in Exeter, which appealed to me, as any problems or queries and I can just pop in there and see them. I pushed the big red door open and was greeted by an immaculate reception area and smiling lady at a desk. She said “you must be Heather!” Yes! I was so impressed that she was expecting me and made me feel welcome immediately. a few moments later I was called into a side room had an extensive chat with the advisor. She ran through the usual stats and sales pitch, but also let me feel some implants and asked me what I was looking to achieve. I didn’t feel like she was trying to sell me a window cleaner, she was very relaxed. I then went into another room and met with my Surgeon, Dr Stratten. He asked what I wanted to achieve and asked why I wanted the procedure. This was not something I had been asked before. I explained that I felt that I had saggy empty breasts and I wanted the plastic look, like Jordan and Pamela Anderson. I also told Dr Stratton that I wanted the largest implants you can get ‘off the shelf’ without having to order specially sized ones. I wanted the 525CC implants. He put me in my place and told me no. Dr Stratton’s words and voice I can still hear down, “I will give you a large chest that you will be proud of, but I don’t produce people that look like porn stars. You will be in proportion and if you are looking to go against my advice, I suggest you seek another surgeon.” His statement was like a breath of fresh air. I am very strong minded and occasionally need to be told no. With this one statement I was sold! I booked my surgery that day. I left the size of my implants to Dr Stratten who said that he will aim to insert the 410CC but if he can’t he will insert the 360CC implants.
Prices varied from £7500 down to £3700. I have no idea how they varied sooo much, but they do and frankly, the price doesn’t matter. Go with the company that you feel like you can trust. I paid £3700 and the price as I said was not reason that I choose The Hospital Group, it was the fact that Dr Stratten cared and I felt like I could trust him to do as I wanted, but also wouldn’t make me look silly.
From the side you can see my breasts were quite empty..
I waited about 3 months until I had my surgery. This was a personal choice, I wanted to get Christmas out of the way and have them done in the Winter, so that they had time to heal ready for Summer. If I had choosen to I could have had the operation booked in for the following week.
When I announced to some of my friends and family what I was planning to do, I had a mixed reaction. Some people were understanding, others told me that I was putting my body at risk, others were very opinionated about how much it was costing me. The personal opinion about whether I was doing the right thing or not, frankly I didn’t care. This was my body and I felt that I had researched enough to confirm my decision was right for me, no one else, but me. The comments that others made about how much it was costing me, really annoyed me. Everyday someone goes out and gets a loan for a car, wedding, holiday or something else they want and nobody tells them that taking finance out on a brand new car at £16,000 isn’t crazy. That car will be worthless once you have paid it off, and guess what my boobs will still be mine in 25 years or more and to me they hold no monetary value, so I have nothing financially to lose!
Leading up to my operation I spent hours reading a forum site I found called So Feminine. Where women can talk about anything, from which foundation you’re using to others plastic surgery journeys. This forum was so helpful for me. I questioned and discussed other ladies for hours over what size they had and how it went. There was a private folder function where you could keep your before and after photos. they were only accessed if your gave someone your password. Again, I found this hugely helpful to see the transformation that others had gone through. I also spent time weighing out rice in old pairs of tights. Yep you heard me right, rice into tights. So breast implants are weighed/measured in units of volume, CC. To give you a rough idea on what size you will be after surgery, it is estimated that per 125CC equals one cup size. So CC is volume, therefore it is also weight. 125grams of rice in a pair of tights equals one cup size. Well, that is what I was told. So I had two old tight legs cut up, 360grams of rice in each and every now and again I would pop them into my bra and walk about in front of the mirror with different clothes on to judge if I was happy with the size implant I had opted for. I felt a bit like a child walking around in her Mum’s high heels most of the time and a bit silly to say the least, but the effect is better than nothing and hoping for the best!
The morning of my surgery I was terrified!
The last time I had gone under a general anesthetic was for the removal of my tonsils when I was about 7. I remember my Mum was sobbing, making the whole thing, at the time rather scary because why was she crying? I now understand that seeing her little girl go off the theatre was upsetting for her, but it really scared and upset me at the time.
At 6am I arrived at Dolan Park which is the private hospital that The Hospital Group use, I was impressed. The hospital was warm and welcoming. Almost like a spa. With it’s sweeping gravelled drive and perfectly maintained lawns, the hospital sits proudly amongst its grounds. The reception area was welcoming and the receptionist knew exactly why I was there and asked me to sit for a moment until my Nurse came to greet me. Now, me saying that the receptionist knew exactly why I was there might sound like a strange thing to be impressed by, but how many times have you showed up to a medical appointment, hair appointment or dinner and the receptionist looks frantically through the diary and keeps questioning your name!?
My Nurse arrived shortly after and greeted me with a huge smile and showed me to my room. The room had my hospital bed in, large TV on the wall, a nice large window allowing lots of natural light and an ensuite shower room. I wasn’t able to use the shower room too much as I wasn’t able to shower the day after surgery, but to be able to use a toilet without leaving me room was great. I even asked if my boyfriend at the time could stay over night with me as I was so so scared and they granted the request and place another bed in the room for him.
I was told to get into the hospital gown and pressure socks and make myself feel at home. I couldn’t I was so scared, I just kept crying! I wanted these new boobs but the anesthetic part really worried me. I asked what time my surgery was and the Nurse advised that they decide on the day depending what procedures they have in and the time that they take. I was a shaking mess, so much so that they hurried me through. I don’t think I could of sat in the room until 6pm waiting to be called for theatre.
One year after my op, I think they had settled in well!
By 7am I had been checked in, shown to my room and my Surgeon had made his pre-op visit to me. Dr Stratten came into see me to see how I was (crapping my pants and crying a lot) and to talk me through the final stages. He took some final ‘before’ photos of me and made his black marker lines across my chest.
At 7:45am, the Nurse came and advised that it was my turn! I was asked if I wanted to be wheeled down in a bed or walk? I walked, I am not that much of a diva that I need to be wheeled down. My Nurse was just lovely, she held my hand and talked me through every single stage.
I arrived at theatre and was asked to hop up onto the bed. This was real now, I was here in the theatre about to go under. My nerves were in pieces. The Anasthetist again talked me through every step. He looked over me and kept reassuring me. I didn’t even feel the canualar needle go in for the anaesthetic! The last thing I remember is Dr Stratten walking in with his camera hanging from it’s strap on his shoulder and saying “we all ready?” – I was out.
I woke up to a rather annoyed male Nurse in recovery saying “Heather, wake up! Wake up, come on!!” I opened my eyes and the first thing I said was “What size implant did I have?”, “You had 360CC”, to which I said “Urgh I wanted the 410’s!”. The Nurse again used his unimpressed tone and replied “They are big enough!, Right lets get you back to your room!” I looked across the room, where I discovered there was a few of us ‘in recovery’. One lady I remember shouted over “Alright Bird? You’re looking amazing love, well done!” this lady didn’t look quite so great. She had obviously had a nose job or face lift, I can recall that her face was all black and blue from bruising, puffy and covered in bandages, but she was cheerful to say the least.
I was wheeled back to my private room where I was welcomed back by two Nurses. They asked me to eat two rounds of toast and have a drink. This was to ensure that I didn’t vomit after being out. I thought I ate the toast in record speed, but later found out from my ex boyfriend that it was like watching a sloth eat toast. Apparently the Nurses kept having to prompt me to eat, like you do with children, as I was taking forever and they needed me to get on with the task set of eating two rounds of toast. I slept for a lot of the day and by teatime, I had a lite bite to eat and was feeling fine. I was checked on by the Nurses every hour and given pain relief as and when I asked, as long as I was ok to have some more. By 11:30pm I was ready for bed, but the Nurse was concerned because my blood sugar levels were low. I was given some biscuits and a cup of tea. My blood sugars raised back up to normal and I was allowed to go to bed. I was knackered!
The following day….
The next morning, I was woken up about 6am. Pretty early, but if the truth be known, it is so they can get the room ready for the next cilent. I felt fine. I woke and thought this is going to hurt, but actually I was ok. I made my way to the ensuite, washed my face and brushed my teeth. A light breakfast of cereal or toast was served and I had another set of observations carried out by the nurses to check I was ok to be discharged. My surgeon came round to check I was happy and if I had any concerns. He double checked me and gave me some care advice before he said that I was free to go home and recover.
One tip! After a breast agumentation, you will not be able to raise your arms, so take some clothing that you can put on like a jacket. I wore a zip fronted dress home.
I checked out at the main reception, where they gave me a list of emergency telephone numbers, some leaflets with advice and a cute little paper bag of goodies. There wasn’t anything particularly exciting in the bag, but some pain relief, fruit and a bottle of water for the journey home. I thought this was a really nice thought. They were even concerned for you on your way home.
Two years after.
Ohh! another tip, take a scatter pillow with you! Place it across your chest and behind the seatbelt, as then then seatbelt will still be protecting you in case of an accident or sudden stop, but the impact will not be as harsh on your new boobs!
It was about a 4 hour drive home and I don’t really remember it, as I slept so much. When we got home, I wanted pj’s and a cuppa tea. the evening was spent chilling on the sofa and watching tv. The rest of my first day at home was a bit of a blur, but I do recall going to bed and having to sleep on my back. I always sleep on my side, so sleeping on my back was unusual for me.
My first morning waking up at home, if I am honest was the worst. At the hospital I slept in a hospital bed that was raised slightly in an elevated position, but at home I was flat on my back. I woke up and wanted to get up, but I just didn’t feel that I could do it alone. My ex boyfriend came around to my side of the bed and placed his arms under my back, we counted down, 3, 2, 1 and he raised me up into a sitted position. This singular movement took my breath away, with the pain. Naturally, gravity pulled everything south, I doubt anything moved that much, but even so, it was heavy and painful.
I spent a lot of the day on the sofa. The one thing I desperately wanted was a shower! I was allowed to have a shallow bath and to most definately not get my chest wet. I had disposable stiches and needed to keep them dry. I found that dry shampoo became my best friend. This was horrid but only for a week, so there was light at the end of the tunnel!
I changed my sports bra daily, which I was advised to wear for 24 hours a day, 6 weeks after the procedure. I remember after about a week, I was alone in the bathroom as by this point I was able to change my bra myself without any discomfort. I looked in the mirror and examined my new boobs. They were huge, massively swollen and quite an odd shape. My heart sank. I thought I hope this isn’t what I will end up with. By the following week, the swelling had settled a huge amount and I was looking a lot more ‘normal’.
Everyone will experience swelling and the feeling that you aren’t sure if you are happy with your new purchase, this is totally normal and neither can be avoided.
Swelling is inevitable, as I said, I had large implants and my skin raised away from my sternum, but once the swelling had settled and skin had stretched, it all settled back down. To reduce any tearing, stretch marks and bruising I took Arnica on the lead up to my procedure. Arnica can be purchase from most pharmacies or health stores. One tablet a day leading up to the surgery and will help reduce bruising. I think works as I have no stretch marks!
One week on….
One week later I found myself back at the clinic in Exeter with one of the nurses who removed the plasters covering my stitches. My ‘scars’ are tucked perfectly in the natural crease under my breasts and are about 2 inches long. The Nurse gave me a general check over and asked how I was managing with the pain and double checked the breasts for any issues. I was coping with no pain relief after just day two and was chuffed to bits to be leaving the clinic with a clean bill of health. This now meant I was allowed’ to have a shower. Oh the relief!
That afternoon I went home and had a shower. This was the strangest sensation. It was the first time since having the implants I had not been supported by a sports bra. I stood in the shower just holding onto my new boobs. I had this stupid idea what the implants would just fall out. It took me a good ten minutes until I trusted my new scars. I washed my hair! Amazing! After a week of dry shampoo, it was long overdue! Funnily enough after getting out of the shower, I was pleased to put my sports bra back on. My implants were heavy on my newly stretched skin and the bra supported everything reducing that stretched feeling.
I only took one week off work, but that was not out of choice. I wanted to take two, but my work would not grant me the leave. I was fine at work, I didn’t take any pain relief, but walking into work on my first day back was daunting as I just knew that people would be wanting to stare.
6 weeks went by with no problems and then the fun started with being measured and purchasing new bras! I ended up measuring in at a 32FF, which I was thrilled with.
I was happy with my recovery, the shape, the size and all my sensation had returned and swelling had gone.
Looking back I would say that it takes a good year to 18 months for them to fully settle. By that I mean that they will slightly drop into place and look more natural. Gravity does works wonders with our bodies sometimes!
6 years after my op and still happy with my boobs!
So today I am 7 years later.
Am I still happy with my choice? Yes and No.
Yes because I am able to wear a backless dress and not think about what bra I need, my implants have given me better body confidence and I have ended up with the boobs I wanted.
‘Wanted’ is the primary word.
If I had the money I would have my implants out tomorrow. Why? I am kinda done with having big boobs. I hate finding swimwear. I have a small petite frame and now I am in my 30’s wearing a skimpy bikini or tightly cut swimsuit with my sized chest is a little ‘mutton dressed as lamb’. Having large breasts in your 20’s is fun, but in your 30’s not so much.
I am the extreme, a FF cup is big. If you are now reading this thinking about going from a AA to a D cup, I am sure you will not feel the same as me 7 years down the line. a D cup is an average size nowadays and I am sure will suit your frame!
I wouldn’t ever convince anyone to go and have surgery, but if you think it will change your mind set, gives you a better life, then why not? It changed my life and I do not regret having it done, but I would have them out tomorrow if I could afford it.
The whole procedure was scarily simple. I completely understand how people become addicted to plastic surgery.
This next part is quite extreme……….as I said I would have my implants out tomorrow if I could afford it and on top of that I would opt for a double mastectomy and reconstruction.
Quite a drastic change you might think but there is a reason behind my thinking.
Unfortunately there is a history and presence of breast cancer in my family. I have been granted to have my mammogram brought forward to when I am 40 years old, rather than waiting until I am 50 years old.
However to me, its not enough. The majority of my chest is silicone. So why not, just cut out the risk. I mean, why not, just cut out the natural breast tissue, and only have breast implants? I can’t get breast cancer if I don’t have the breast tissue!
I know that there are many more cancers that I could be diagnosed with, but if I am high risk of breast cancer, surely lets eliminate the problem? Finding a surgeon that would do the procedure for me is another matter.
Anyways, I hope this blog post has opened up a topic that is not discussed often enough and if you have any questions whatsoever, please just ask! xxx