What do you think about boob jobs? Unnecessary, unfeminist and not for a woman like you? Or, do you secretly (or not-so-secretly) hanker after one? When a friend announced that she was having one last summer I was fascinated. Whilst I know people who’ve dabbled with botox and a couple who’ve admitted to nose jobs, I didn’t think I knew anyone who’d done anything more. Why did she have it done? Will it open the floodgates to having more procedures? What does her husband think? And most importantly, was it worth it? If you’ve ever wondered what type of woman actually has a boob job, then read on, you might be surprised…
I’m probably not someone you’d imagine having a boob job. As a 34 year-old working mum from Bristol who is involved in the local church and volunteers for charities, I don’t fit the stereotype. I’m not a wannabee actress or popstar, but for me, having my boobs done wasn’t for fame or to get noticed, it was something I wanted to do for myself.
When I was younger I had great breasts and had always been really pleased with them. At uni I was even known as Big Boobs because they were so perky! But, after having children, everything changed. I had my daughter five years ago and after I stopped breastfeeding her, I was really shocked by how my boobs had changed. They were much smaller, emptier and my nipples were so much larger, it really upset me. It was actually then that I first thought I should do something about it, but I tried not to dwell on it as I wanted to have more children and be able to breastfeed again.
After my son was born a few years later, I did the same as I did with my daughter and breastfed for a year. When I finally stopped, I couldn’t help but notice that my boobs just kept shrinking and shrinking. I tried padded bras and push up bras, but nothing seemed to help give me any sort of cleavage – because the fact was I didn’t! It was then that my boobs really started to bother me and I’d go so far as to say that they began to make me feel bad about myself.
We went on holiday to Florida in March last year and going to the beach every day was a huge turning point. I was on the most amazing holiday, but I couldn’t help but feel incredibly self-conscious in my bikini as my top was completely empty. It looked like I was wearing someone else’s bikini, which in a way I was, because it was the old me’s bikini.
When we got back home I started taking the kids swimming at our local pool and I’d occasionally catch sight of myself in the changing room’s mirror. I found myself becoming focused on my breasts and it really concerned me that I didn’t like them at all. I felt completely unwomanly and after a lot of soul-searching, I realised that I had to do something about it. After a few weeks, I told my husband that I was thinking about having a boob job, and luckily he was all for it. It would have been hard had he not been so supportive, and I honestly have no idea whether I’d have still gone through with it or not.
After I’d told Rich, I seriously started looking into surgery and did a lot of research into what it involved. Being in the medical profession myself, I knew I’d have to find a surgeon who was registered with an official governing body (eg BAAPS – no joke!) and looked into everything from the cheapest to the most expensive options. As I didn’t have any close friends who’d had the procedure done, I unfortunately couldn’t go on a recommendation. So instead, I asked health professionals who I’d met and knew had dealt with patients who had had breast augmentations. Every one agreed that it was better to go for someone who does breast reconstructions rather than just pure plastic enlargement. The former have more skill as they have experience in the removal of cancerous tissue and the remodelling of the breast. After a lot of research I found a consultant I really liked and having found out the cost(£4,700) I decided to go for it.
The first time I took my top off and the surgeon looked at my chest, it was a little odd, although the presence of a ‘chaperone’, a Patient Advisor, made it a lot easier. The Patient Advisor is there if you have any questions or concerns during the course of your treatment. Mine was amazing and had first hand experience of my procedure, having had it done just 4 months previously with the same consultant. While she was with me the consultant measured me up and took photos. Her presence made the situation seem quite normal – although it was far from normal really.
After my initial appointment, the surgery was booked in for 7 weeks later. I’d made my mind up and didn’t see the point in waiting – the surgeon had one slot available and if I didn’t take it, I’d have to wait another few months because we were both so busy.
There were two further consultations before the op and as many “size” fittings as I wanted with my Patient Advisor, meaning that there was a lot of time to make decisions. The hardest part was deciding what size to go for as it was really tricky to know what they would look like. I was a 32B before the op and in the end, I went for a full C. There are clinics with computer programmes, which show you with different sizes. However, the clinic I went with didn’t have that, instead they had the implants there for me to try on in front of mirrors. As well as size, I was also given shape options. Either round or anatomical (tear drop), but due to the emptiness of my breasts the surgeon suggested round to fill them more. The implants were highly recommended and came with a lifetime guarantee, and after quite a bit of research, I felt happy with my choice.
All through the process, I never questioned my decision. To be honest, I don’t think I stopped once to think about it too much. And even though the surgery wasn’t medically necessary, I wasn’t worried about going through with it.
On the day of the operation, I was incredibly excited. I wasn’t due in to the hospital until 1pm so I spent the morning with my kids and my best friend and didn’t feel nervous at all. In fact, it was all incredibly relaxed. The operation took an hour and I was a little uncomfortable after I woke up, but the pain was under control with the medication. The problem was that I had a few complications with surgery. I lost a lot of blood from one breast which in turn made my blood pressure drop so much that I passed out when I stood up. I was kept in hospital for 3 days instead of 2. There was also a moment when the surgeon thought he may have to operate again to stop the bleeding. At that point I started to think “what have I done, this is mental”. Luckily the bleeding stopped and it never came to that.
After the operation, I was bandaged up for a week and then wore a sports bra for a further 5 weeks, after which I was able to wear normal bras again. I was also told that I shouldn’t lift any thing too heavy for 6 weeks, so because my job is quite physical, I took 3 weeks off. I also cycle everywhere and the consultant told me to wait 4 weeks before getting in my bike again. At first I felt fine so it seemed easier than I thought, but then the medication wore off, and I was very tender for a while. This made every day tasks like brushing my hair or helping dress the kids, really hard. It was more frustrating than any thing. I was also really badly bruised around my chest, due to the style of augmentation where the implant goes under the muscle. This meant that I felt like I’d done a million pressups for the first week and a half!
But, the implants are amazing. I’ve heard most people wake up from the op wishing they had gone bigger. But, luckily I didn’t! I can’t feel them, my boobs just feel bigger and slightly swollen, but still soft to the touch. One of my biggest surprises has been that I still have to wear a bra as sadly a boob job does not prevent your breasts from sagging! I was also happy to find out that if I were to have another child, I could breastfeed again.
My husband is also happy because I feel more comfortable in myself. He’s always said that having babies is a hard job and breastfeeding them cumulatively for almost 2 years was a big sacrifice for which my body changed. He’s been very supportive, although he’s also happy on a purely selfish level! I met him at uni so he knew what my breasts used to be like.
Overall, my friends and family have been really supportive. One friend questioned my decision, but when I told her that I wanted to do it to feel womanly again, she understood. People have asked if I’m tempted to have anything else done, but I don’t think I’ve got the guts to do anything more than boobs. Although I can understand why people think plastic surgery is addictive.
A year on, I love my new boobs. Although, in a way it feels like I have my old ones back and subsequently feel so much more womanly than I did. The only bad thing is that I found out 3 months ago that I need another operation. Following the heamatoma after the initial op, scar tissue has formed, which keeps tightening as time goes on. It ‘s slightly uncomfortable and needs to be taken out. It’ll be another 6 week recovery period with no lifting or pushing, but it should be far less uncomfortable as the pocket in my pectoral muscles is already there. The surgery and implant fees are covered by the company I originally went through, but unfortunately the hospital fees aren’t and I’ll have to pay those.
I am annoyed about having to have another operation as I really don’t want to have to take more time off and also have the discomfort. But I also think “so what! I have boobs again! I will also have to have a further operation in the future as they say you should plan to have then changed at least once in your lifetime. In average they last 15 years then you may notice hardening – as the muscles form scar tissue over the implant. It’s at the point you feel hardening or pain that you should have new implants.
Despite the further operations, I’m still so glad that I had the boob job and don’t regret it all. It’s been a really positive experience. The discomfort and inconvenience of it all are really the only negatives. I feel so much sexier and am far more confident in what I wear on my top half. I also know that my husband is more turned on by my silhouette!
My daughter is only 5 and if she wanted one, well, I’d have to see how I felt at the time. I’ve found that I look at other women who’ve had boob jobs in a different way now. Before I had one, I always used to think that they were really tacky. But now I know that’s not the case at all.
We’d love to know what you think. Have you ever considered plastic surgery? What do you honestly think about boob jobs? Please comment below and let us know!
Images: Kate Upton/Vogue; Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia