What It's Really Like To Get Breast Implants

We have spoken to three women who chose to have breast implants for different reasons and who have candidly shared their experiences with us.
Patient Perspective
Written by India Bottomley
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What It's Really Like To Get Breast Implants

Women choose to have breast implants for a wide range of reasons, some have always been unhappy with their breasts while others have surgery to restore them to the shape they were before they had children. We spoke to three women who chose to have breast implants for different reasons and who have candidly shared their experiences with us.

Marie, Austin, TX

After she had her two children, Marie’s body had changed significantly. As a personal trainer, Marie had successfully regained her pre-pregnancy body through diet and exercise, but her breasts had changed shape and could not be remedied without undergoing surgery. “I lost a lot of breast tissue and was left with basically two folds of skin. I was left with trying to find a bra that fit the width of a D skin fold but the cup of a B.”

The AEDITION: What did you ask your surgeon before the procedure?

Marie: I asked my doctor what resultsI could expect from the surgery and whether I would be able to return to work and do my job correctly. I’m a personal trainer, so that was really important to me. I was concerned the length of downtime would make it impossible for me to consider having the procedure but thankfully that wasn’t the case.

The AEDITION: Do you have any advice for potential patients before their first consultation?

Marie: My advice for anyone having this procedure is to check what implants are being used. I would also check out your surgeon and any reviews or feedback left by other patients.

The AEDITION: How did you prepare for the procedure?

Marie: My preparation was mainly finding coverage for my work shifts and allowing myself adequate healing time. It was over the holiday period, so a quiet time in the fitness industry!

The AEDITION: How was the procedure for you?

Marie: My experience of the procedure was very positive. I was very well looked after in a private clinic and remember it all going to plan. It was my first time having surgery and being under anesthetic, and the experience was very pleasant.

The AEDITION: How long was your recovery?

Marie: My recovery was very quick, I was able to raise my arms above my head after three days or so and was back at work within two and a half weeks. I should add that I was a DD cup before pregnancy, so my surgery was really to fill the skin with the implant. There wasn’t much stretch of skin needed for the implant to fit, so that was maybe a factor in why the healing was so quick for me.

The AEDITION: Are you pleased with the results of your surgery?

Marie: All in all I'm pleased with my results. Looking at what I had before and what I have, I’m thrilled. I was able to have the procedure without a lift due to the nature of my large boobs before pregnancy. I feel my implants are very large,currently 34E, but I didn’t have the option to choose my size, it was a matter of filling the skin so I could wear a bra that fit correctly.

Delilah, Boston, MA

When Delilah was growing up, she saw her friends’ breasts growing as they went through puberty, but hers never really came to anything. “As I entered my late teens and early twenties I found it really hard to accept that if I left my boobs alone, I’d be stuck with an A cup for life. I decided pretty early on that I’d get the surgery, but I needed to find the right surgeon and the right time for me.”

The AEDITION: How did you prepare for the surgery?

Delilah: Personally the preparation was more emotional than physical. I had wanted the procedure for so long I’d almost talked myself out of getting it done in case the results didn’t live up to my expectations. I had to talk through my options with my surgeon and his team, as well as with my close friends and family, but I eventually decided that I needed to go ahead – I’m so happy I did!

The AEDITION: How was the procedure for you?

Delilah: I’d had a couple of minor surgeries when I was younger, so I knew what to expect regarding the anesthesia, but I was concerned about the pain. When I woke up I cried, and I don’t even know why I was uncomfortable but not in pain. I think I was just so relieved that the procedure was done! The two days after the surgery were uncomfortable, but I was pretty out of it with the painkillers I was given and recovering from the anesthetic, so it passed quickly.

The AEDITION: Do you have any insider tips for recovery?

Delilah: My insider tips for aiding recovery is to do exactly what your surgeon suggests. This means sleeping in your sports bra and laying on your back for six weeks post surgery, but it's all worth it in the end, however uncomfortable it may be at the time.

Keeping the end result in mind also really helped me. I’d recommend people do that when they’re feeling uncomfortable or having a hard time getting things done in the few days following surgery. The thought of my ‘after’ photo gave me the motivation to be diligent with my aftercare.

The AEDITION: Are you pleased with the result?

Delilah: I’m so happy with how my boobs look now! I finally feel confident wearing bikinis, and I’ve been able to completely change my wardrobe thanks to the procedure. I went from a 32A to a 32C, so while my new boobs aren’t large, they suit my build, and I can’t begin to explain how much better I feel about myself since the surgery.

Allison, Tampa, FL

Allison had gained weight as a young adult due to other health problems. But as she reached her thirtieth birthday, she overhauled her lifestyle and lost 100lbs, which on the whole changed her body for the better. She did, however, lose volume in her breasts. "I was initially looking into gastric bypass surgery, but I wanted to try to lose the weight myself. I managed to lose the weight without surgery, but once I’d reached my goal weight my boobs had become so saggy, and they were the only part of my body that I wasn’t happy with.”

The AEDITION: What was your main concern before the surgery?

Allison: I was worried that because my skin was loose, my implants would still sag after the procedure. I discussed this with my surgeon who said my sagging was comparably minimal which reassured me to an extent, and I trusted their opinion. That concern actually stayed until I neared the end of the healing process.

The AEDITION: How were the first days following the procedure?

Allison: There was no pain, the skin on my chest and under my arms felt tight but not painful. I was actually more bothered with side effects from the anesthetic than the actual surgery site, I felt quite bloated and tired, but it was all manageable.

The AEDITION: How did you prepare for the surgery?

Allison: My family arranged time off work so someone could be with me for the first three days following surgery. I also had to arrange for someone to walk my dog for the first week. I prepped meals for two weeks and froze them before my surgery so I could keep on track with my diet even when I was tired or sore.

The AEDITION: Do you have any advice for future patients?

Allison: I have two main pieces of advice. First, don’t be alarmed by what your breasts look like right after surgery. I made the mistake of looking under my bra on the day after surgery, and I scared myself. It's nothing like the end result, and you’re still swollen and sore, so it’s a really bad representation of how much of a success the procedure has been. Secondly, don’t be put off by the fear of pain. I have a really low pain threshold but I managed fine and the most pain I was in reached around three out of 10. It was really manageable, there was the discomfort of course, but not pain as such.

The AEDITION: Are you pleased with the outcome of your procedure?

Allison: I’m so pleased with the result, yes. I was so anxious that I still wouldn’t be happy with the shape of my breasts after surgery. I could’ve saved myself lots of stress after all because the result is amazing, the implants look and feel natural. They don’t sag and I have been able to wear a bikini on vacation for the first time in years this summer because I feel so much more confident.

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INDIA BOTTOMLEYis a contributing writer for AEDIT.

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