This post is detailing my own personal journey, if surgery is something you’re considering then please note that your experience might be entirely different. This post does discuss bodily functions and surgery procedures, therefore it might not be comfortable reading for everyone. I’ve tried to cover as much detail as possible, including recovery, my procedure, and costs – Questions are very welcome…
On the day of my surgery I’d barely slept a wink, my head was a jungle of anticipation, excitement, and fear. I had no idea what to expect, all I was hoping is that my anxiety wouldn’t go into overdrive. We arrived on time for my 12 pm admission, I was greeted at reception by name, and then shortly after I was met by my nurse who took me to my private room. She took my blood pressure, helped me change into my gown and surgery socks and finished by going over some paperwork before leaving me to settle in.
This might sound crazy, but 48 hours before my surgery, I made the choice to increase the size of my implants to 375cc (or 375ml if that is easier to imagine) and my incredible nurse Lola was able to organize this for me. I was very fortunate that these were ‘in stock’ at the hospital and that it was anatomically possible for me to have a larger implant.
Well, my number one objective was the most natural result, therefore having the implant placed under my muscles would help me achieve this, but would also reduce how large the finished result would look. I had read that many other women had wished they’d sized up, so I made the jump from 325cc to 375cc.
It turned out that I was going to be the last patient of the day and everything was running late, to stop myself thinking about the “what if” scenarios I spent the time watching TV, talking to G and power napping. After a few hours, the surgeon came in to answer any last minute questions and marked me up (drawn on with a permanent marker pen) ready for surgery. It’s completely standard procedure to be marked up ready for the surgical incisions and often they’ll note the implant size on you.
Prior to going into the theatre, I had to answer questions relating to when I last ate and drank, my identity, alongside confirmation I wasn’t pregnant or wearing body jewellery. I was then taken into the operating theatre and helped onto the bed, having no previous surgical experience I hadn’t prepared myself for this. It felt completely surreal, almost ‘out of body’ and I started to panic, the nurse took my hand and distracted me, whilst they started the anaesthesia. Moments later, a mask was placed over my mouth and I drifted off, after 2 hours (or two minutes, because that’s what it felt like) I was being woken up.
A standard procedure with Breast Augmentation is to leave a surgical bra with your nurse, so I knew I was going to wake up bandaged and in my new surgical bra. I was pre-warned that I might have to have drains (you can read more about those here) which is extremely common and I cannot explain the relief when I realized that hadn’t been applicable to me. What I did have is a band across my chest, which was to prevent my implants from settling too high, I’d had this explained to me prior to my surgery which meant it was completely expected.
I suppose I should mention this was my first experience of morphine, therefore once I’d fully woken up, I became absolutely EUPHORIC…
I was bursting with joy, laughing, joking, enjoying my late night tea and cake, texting everyone, calling my parents at 12.30am to tell them about my fabulous breasts. I was even texting my Mother-in-law to share my absolute delight.
I fear that I may have told my nurse that cake will eventually save the world…
The first thing people ask me is, was it painful?
In one word, YES. My pectoral muscles had been moved from my ribcage and the implants were placed behind these muscles, plus I’d had also had my areolas reduced and lifted, which made the procedure and recovery a little more complex. The primary thing I noticed was how much my arms ached, which was unexpected. Alongside this, my chest felt heavy and the simplest way for me to explain it is that it felt not unlike my breasts were on fire. A burning, stinging sensation, which did ease off but wasn’t particularly comfortable.
However, I’d made the choice to have this procedure and the fact It was such a huge priority to me, made the pain easier to manage. I decided to make peace with the discomfort and pain, in the long run, it made recovery far easier. To be honest, at first, I was more preoccupied with the fact I’d actually gone through with the procedure and eating my cake to focus on the pain element.
The following morning, the nurse helped me out of bed, took me to the mirror and helped me open my post surgery bra to show me my new figure. This was a surreal and important moment for me, I’d never been in a situation where someone was presenting me with a significant change to my body and at first it was very hard to process. Despite the fact I had thick bandages across most of my breasts, I was absolutely delighted, if not a little surprised by the fact they didn’t look “that big”.
What isn’t commonly spoken about, is that fact your breasts will change every single day, post surgery isn’t the finished result. You shouldn’t expect perfect symmetry, each breast will settle within a different timescale. Plus, the implants need to settle and fall into the pockets made by the surgeon. This process is often called “drop and fluff”, where the implant effectively drops and fills out at a more natural looking point. The surgeon will make a pocket and eventually over the 6 week period, the implants will fall into place. The mental side of recovery is tough, each day my breasts looked different and there were times when I felt unnerved and dishearted with my appearance. My number one tip is to remember that it’s progressive recovery, there’s no instant gratification and good things take time.
At around 9 am Graeme arrived to collect me, he packed up my belongings, helped dress me and walked me to the car with me hanging on to his arm like an old lady. The journey home was really straightforward, I sat upright and Graeme drove carefully, so I felt no additional discomfort. One of the regulations post surgery is that you must have someone collect you and drive you home, regardless of how well you might feel.
Once I’d returned home, my monthly cycle started and post-anaesthetic, I felt absolutely knocked for six. Whilst I had absolutely no regrets, my body felt exhausted, achy, delicate and my movement was extremely limited. I battled to remain independent, I needed to lean on Graeme more than ever before. I couldn’t shower due to my bandages, so therefore I needed help flannel washing. Graeme had to wash and blow dry my hair, it took 6 days before I could tie my hair in a simple ponytail. In addition to this, the procedure, and my painkillers had disrupted my digestion. As a result, I ballooned by around 6lbs, after joining a forum for breast implant patients, I discovered that this was all very normal, but not at all good for my self-esteem. My uniform was stylish, I’m talking oversized PJ bottoms, oversized vests, and my dressing gown because these were easiest things for Graeme to help dress me in
My old friend insomnia returned and I couldn’t sleep through the night, I lost my appetite and I couldn’t have felt less like a ‘Beautiful butterfly’. Getting out of bed was extremely tough, even though I was sleeping elevated, my upper body movement was very limited, I felt stressed and frustrated. But what I did realize, is how important this process was to me, that I needed to respect my body and my recovery. I learned that it was okay to ask for help, that everything I was feeling was normal and I just needed to get through the tough first few days. On around day 4 I felt stronger and the world felt brighter and by day 7 I was back in “normal clothing”. Which might sound irrelevant but it was such an important turning point to me after a week in pyjamas. Plus, after 7 days it was time for my first postoperative appointment with my nurse to check the healing and change over my bandages.
The first time I saw my breasts fully I was horrified, as I’d had an Areola Mastopexy which meant my Areola’s were reduced and slightly lifted, I had no idea what to expect. Unsurprisingly my Areola’s looked battered, bruised, slightly odd shapes and nothing like I’d expected. Over time they started to settle, gradually they widened and eased into a more natural shape. During the past 6 weeks, the bruising has gone, all the pulls are no longer visible and my stitches are healing beautifully.
As my recovery was taking longer than I’d naively anticipated, I decided not to return to work until day 12 and didn’t attempt driving until the following day. Which fell in line with my second post surgery appointment with the nurse, thankfully everything was healing perfectly and I was able to have my dressings removed. The first time I showered post surgery I felt extremely delicate, my implants felt cumbersome and I was absolutely terrified about knocking my stitches. If I’m being honest, for those 10 minutes spent in the shower, my body didn’t feel at all like mine. On the other hand, as the days passed, everything got easier, it was more comfortable to bath than having a shower and I finally perfected the right ‘Upright’ sleeping position.
How do I feel 6 weeks later?
I love how my body shape looks, clothing fits differently, I have more of an hourglass shape, I feel that I’m completely in proportion and in awe of how natural my results look. I never wanted a “fake” oversized, round look, so when I look in the mirror the pain feels worthwhile, I have the breasts I’d dreamt of. I have no regrets and nothing but increased love and respect for my body. Today I was fitted up for my first bra post surgery, I will write a separate post sharing my advice on this, but let it be known, I feel wonderful!
If you’re considering cosmetic surgery, this is my advice…
*Make sure it’s what YOU want more than anything, the only opinion you need to take seriously is the advice/opinion of your surgeon and your intuition.
*Do your research, I met several companies and surgeons before I was able to find someone who understood exactly what I wanted. Take the time to look over your surgeon’s work and find the person with the portfolio that works for you. Plus, make sure that they are fully regulated, if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.
*Please, do not underestimate recovery and how much you need to respect your body. I’ve heard stories of women requiring the surgery to be repeated due to the fact they didn’t respect the rules of recovery. It’s not fun, or comfortable but the rules are put in place for your own protection and the best possible result.
Details Of My Procedure – Inc Costs…
*I had my surgery with “The Hospital Group” and I was extremely happy with the service. I will just mention that my nurse Lola (who is an employee of Transform, the companies are integrated) was incredible, nothing was ever a problem and no question went unanswered. The post surgery aftercare has also been excellent, I once had to call the 24-hour emergency careline (I wanted advice on taking a sleeping tablet) and it left me with real peace of mind that someone was available to guide me.
*My procedure was at ‘Riverside Hospital’ which is privately owned by Transform/The Hospital Group.
*My procedure was Breast Augmentation with an Areola Mastopexy – I have 375cc High Profile Mentor Implants (Saline) and these were placed under the muscle.
*My surgeon was Dr. Mileto – He works for several companies in the UK and whilst he’s a man of few words, he understood exactly how I wanted to look. He explained with high profile implants I wouldn’t require a breast uplift and he was able to offer the nipple mastopexy without a doughnut/anchor scar which was something I wanted to avoid. I’m absolutely thrilled with the results, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose him again in the future. I’d recommend taking a look at his Instagram if you’re interested in examples of his work.
*The cost of my surgery was £5,800 – This included the surgery, all follow-up appointments, and an overnight stay. Plus, if there were complications I was able to stay in the hospital until I was safe to be discharged for no extra cost. Little extras included: meals, a private room, free parking and a 24/7 Emergency Line for advice post surgery.
Additional costs included: Dr’s Letter (£25) – Letter from my Councillor (£20) – Batwing Pillow (£20) – Two Macom Post Surgery Bras (£76) -Marks & Spencer High Impact Sports Bra (£25) – £166.00.
If you’ve got this far, thanks for reading!