I HAD A BOOB JOB

BODY IMAGE, THOUGHT-PROVOKING

I am all for self acceptance: it’s definitely an ambition of mine to be in a place of body neutrality – where I look in the mirror and feel ‘nothing’ towards my body. I also believe it’s any person’s right to alter their appearance if they feel the need. This writer, who wishes to remain anonymous, shares her experience of having cosmetic surgery on her breasts:

BEFORE:

  • I recently had a mastopexy and breast augmentation: a boob job.

  • The mastopexy part is a lift and the augmentation is the insertion of implants; making them bigger.

  • I had my first consultation in 2016 at a London-based hospital with a good reputation, MYA.

  • I chose this hospital because someone close to me had recently had plastic surgery here, and it was a positive experience.

  • I eventually had the surgery in 2018 – it took me that long to decide that I definitely wanted the operation, and that I was ready for it. Take as long as you need, this isn’t a decision to rush.

  • At MYA, first person you meet is a ‘Patient Co-ordinator’ – essentially a salesperson. This person will determine the price you pay for your surgery.

  • Do. Your. Research! The price I eventually paid was almost £3,000 less than the price I was originally quoted.

  • My Patient Co-ordinator talked me through the surgery I wanted, showed me lots of examples of previous surgeries and also let me see/hold a breast implant.

  • An implant is a round, doughnut shape (no hole in the middle!) and are sort-of textured to the touch. You can hold them during the conversation, and inevitably end up giving them a twist/squeeze. This satisfied the concern pretty high on my worry list… that they will pop! They won’t.

  • The Patient Co-ordinator also talked through surgeons with me. Again, do your research as who you choose will be altering your body permanently.

  • The surgeon I went with specialised in ‘natural’ results, which is the look I wanted and also why I am writing this anonymously. I am so pleased with my results, but they don’t look obviously fake, so if you hadn’t been told about my surgery you likely wouldn’t guess!

  • That said, there are others who specialise in the fake look, some who specialise in corrections… There is a surgeon for everyone, so if you don’t find the right one straight away don’t be disheartened.

  • When you meet with your surgeon, you are measured up and discuss your desired outcome. For me, it was more volume and enhanced symmetry. From what I shared with my surgeon, she then recommended a size and volume of implant, as well as where the implant would sit in relation to the muscle in my chest. Mine are high profile, and under the muscle* (*more on this further down).

  • My surgeon was female. She demonstrated a level of professional empathy that I felt wasn’t as present during my appointments with potential male surgeons, but obviously this is personal and varies according to the individual.

  • Once I agreed payment (which you can take care of in full, or via a payment plan), I never heard from my Patient Co-ordinator again, which I feel was something that should be more clearly explained as part of the process.

DURING

  • Once I had decided on a date for the surgery, I was required to go in for a pre-op. I met with a nurse who checked over my medical history, took photographs (these are a recurring part of the MYA journey – and great to look back on!) and other various checks. This pre-op determines whether or not you can go ahead with the surgery.

  • On the day of the surgery, I arrived at the hospital and was the last operation of the day due to mine being classified as a ‘major’ operation. This classification was due to the complexity of the surgery (not just a straightforward enlargement) and the amount of time that I would be on the table for.

  • You are required to sign a consent form ahead of the surgery, and you sign for the worst. You could die, your results could be terrible, your implants could become encapsulated (meaning you’d have to have them out), you may not be able to breastfeed, your nipple(s) could fall off… This is precautionary of course, and my surgeon clearly explained these and managed my expectations during one of our pre-surgery appointments.

  • I took my own ‘before’ pictures too – I would recommend this, and carrying on with photographs during your recovery.

  • My surgeon drew on my chest pre-surgery, and you are also required to take a pregnancy test.

  • If you are pregnant, the surgery won’t go ahead at that time (but MYA have a policy in place whereby you shouldn’t lose out financially).

  • I walked down to surgery which may sound silly, but I didn’t expect. It was fascinating, and I was glad to meet everyone who would be looking after me.

  • Being put under general anaesthetic was lovely – I would describe it as feeling dizzy, but after confirming with the anaesthetist if this was normal (!) the feeling becomes akin to being high…

  • The next thing I knew, I was awake but drowsy. My operation was done and I would stay in overnight (again, because of the ‘major’ thing).  

  • Please do not underestimate how much you use your chest muscles when you allocate recovery time post-surgery. Some people expect to be back in work within days – I have a desk job, and even something that sedentary would have been almost impossible.

  • I couldn’t brush my hair, pull my trousers up, sit up unaided… The list goes on.

  • I was lucky enough to have someone to help me during my recovery, but it pushed me to the brink pain-wise.

  • The decision was taken by my surgeon in theatre (which I had consented to her doing) to place both implants under the muscle, which is extremely painful. It is a persistent aching, stretching sensation and it was pretty awful for about five days.

  • You are sent home with robust pain relief, antibiotics and muscle relaxants, but on night four of constant pain, I felt that I was close to the edge.

  • On day five, I turned a corner and felt infinitely better. From there, I followed my surgeon’s recovery instructions to a tee.

  • This included two weeks rest, sleeping sitting upright, wearing a sports bra and a breast band night and day for an allocated amount of time, no sports for 12 weeks… The list goes on.

  • I maintain that if you can follow your surgeon’s advice (despite how extreme some of it may sound!) then you should – my end result is better for it.

  • Now, almost nine months on I couldn’t be happier.

  • My boobs aren’t the high, hard porn-esque boobs that I emerged from surgery with, but are perky and natural looking with a generous cleavage.

  • The scarring from the type of surgery I had is known as an anchor scar. When I saw my nurse for a post-operation check-up and my plasters were removed, the scarring was a shock. I knew what to expect, but it was red and very obvious. This has now faded to almost nothing, and has exceeded my expectations in this respect.

  • A good surgeon will also have feedback on their scars, and the surgeon I chose is renowned for performing ‘neat’ ones.

  • You need to renew a boob job approximately every 10-15 years, so it is a commitment.

  • I am in my mid-twenties and don’t have any children yet, but I am aware that doing so may accelerate my need to update my surgery.

  • A lot of people queried why I wouldn’t wait until after I have children – a valid point, as I don’t know how pregnancy will affect them.

  • However, the confidence I have gained from having the surgery now has been so worth it, and to me that is invaluable.

  • All of the medical staff I encountered at MYA were fantastic – from nurses, to porters, to anaesthetics, to my fantastic surgeon.

  • I visited my surgeon a couple of times for a post-operative check-up before being medically signed off, and also went in of my own accord for nurse appointments with a couple of concerns I had. The staff were always extremely understanding, reassuring and sympathetic.

  • The sports bras I wore post-surgery were from M&S (half the price of Macom and just as good) and I have a couple from Asda too. I continue to wear some form of bra (sports or crop top) at night time, mainly for support.

  • Am I pleased with my surgery? Yes.

  • Would I do it again? Yes.

  • Would I recommend it to anyone who wants to do it, and is in a position to do so which will not compromise their wellbeing (physical, mental or financial)? Yes – do your research, don’t allow yourself to be rushed and fully accustom yourself to the ins and outs, potentials and possibilities.

  • It is one of the best, most empowering things I have done for myself.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Laura June 14, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    Fellow boob jobber here, but 11yrs on from my surgery. Good news – they are still going strong and I have been pretty happy with them overall. But for me, I have some regrets (in no way suggesting you will have regrets, completely personal). I struggled to breastfeed and I always wonder if the implants affected this. I also recently had a lump scare – which is thankfully harmless – but the radiologist said that implants make their job much harder in being able to see lumps. I wish I had been more confident in myself at 25 to resist what I now see as social conditioning to be a certain body shape, but I think there was psychological benefit at that time.

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