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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

My Breast Augmentation Journey #1

My blog was never really meant to be a personal thing. I started it to share products and ideas that I love, with the hope that you guys would love them too. Ever since I announced on twitter that I was having a breast augmentation, I've been inundated with messages from people that are in the process or are thinking about it wanting more details, information, reassurance etc. so I really felt someone needed to put all the information out there - without bias from particular clinics and their methods. 

Whilst this has been a really hard post to write seeing as my family and friends (mostly) are completely against it, I honestly feel it's an important topic to cover because let's be honest, surgery is a big thing.

Everyone looks into surgery (of all types) for many reasons; in my opinion, no one's reason is right or wrong and no one else has the place to make a judgement on it. Making the right choice however, is down to research and facts, in order to make an informed choice. 

So, first things first, I'm not going to apologise for tackling such a controversial topic, the aim of this post is to explain, inform and discuss - the truth, not the myths you've heard about the surgery. I'm not claiming to be an expert in any way, but all of the information in this post has helped me to make my decision, which is why I wanted to share it. I've tried to make this post as visual as possible so it's easier to understand all the technical bits!

Leave any judgements and preconceptions behind, and let's talk boobs - because it's OKAY to talk about it!
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The Process

This type of post is quite hard to write because my process with my particular cosmetic clinic, will be different from other clinics so don't expect what I say to be the same every where with every surgeon! This is just my process. 

Choosing a clinic and a surgeon

Once you've decided surgery is something you want to look into, the first step in the process is research, research, research. I've personally been subconsciously been researching for years mainly via instagram and there was always one clinic that came up more often than others with what looked like great results and happy patients. After quite a bit of internet research, my mind was made up and I had a surgeon in mind. 

For me personally the most important factors when choosing a clinic and surgeon are the end results (research lots of photos) and also the after care offered by the clinic. For some people, cost is an important factor, but like I said it's a personal choice and for me, cost didn't come into it.

For those looking to have their surgery internationally, I'd strongly advise against it, not because the surgeons aren't good - that's not for me to comment, but because of the amount of pre and post of op appointments you have and also just in case you have any problems, it's really important to have your surgeon near. 

Registering interest and making your first appointment

I filled in a quick form online to register my interest in a breast augmentation and was phoned the next day by the clinic to set up an appointment with a Patient Co-ordinator (PC) to discuss the operation. 

The first consultation with my PC was free and we discussed benefits/risks/costs all the usual stuff. There wasn't really a hard sell and I wasn't forced to put money down there and then so I went home and thought more about both my options and a financial implications of the operation. 

The big decision

The next step in the process is to sign up and put the money down for the surgery. I decided to pay for the operation on finance as I wanted it soon and didn't have the money right then. I put down £500.00 and the rest I would pay starting from one month after my op. Once I'd agreed to the terms and conditions I could make my final appointments and book the surgery date.

Surgeon's consultation

Based on what I wanted, my PC recommended me a surgeon, I already had one in mind but I wanted her opinion first and she actually gave me the one I wanted based on my research. I arrived to my appointment and was told they were running late (which ended up being 3 and a half hours!), I was in a bad mood, tired and hungry but at least I got to meet my surgeon. 

We discussed the size, placement, profile and texture of my implant and I got to try them all on which was fun! I'll discuss all of these technical things later as it's really really important to have an idea of what you may want or at least the differences before you go to your appointment! 

After seeing the surgeon you have 7 days 'cooling off' period which means you can change your mind on the surgery and still get your money back which was also really important to me when choosing a clinic. 

Nurse's consultation

The final appointment is with the nurse to have a couple of tests and go through medical history. This was also the time I could ask all my questions about recovery, what I would need, how long I can't do certain things for etc. 

So that's where I'm at now. My surgery is in less than 3 weeks so now all I need to do is buy all my supplies ready for recovery and get excited about the big day!
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The Technical Bits


Based on my experience so far, it's really important to have a good knowledge of the surgery before you even start making appointments. Even in the surgeon's appointment when he/she suggests you should have something particular, you need to understand what that means and why they are choosing one option over another. 

Implant filling and Shape

The first decision to make is regarding the shape and filling of the implant. Shapes come in round and tear drop, with the round implants being the most popular option. 

The two options for implant filling are saline and silicone. Both options have a silicone outter shell but the difference is in the filling. Saline implants are inserted empty and then filled with a sterile salt water once they're in place while Silicone implants are pre-filled with a silicone gel, which feels similar to human fat. Even though both options have their pros and cons, silicone is generally the most popular option. 

My clinic only offers round shaped silicone implants so if you have a preference of one over the other, find out first what your clinic offers! The infographic below shows more about the pros and cons of each option. 




Texture


Implants come in smooth or textured on the outside shell. I would always recommend asking for textured implants and they have less chance of moving about - particularly with the tear drop implants as they're known to flip... I know, gross!

Brand

Ever since the PIP implant scandal, everyone has become more concious of the brand of implants they're using. I am having silicone Mentor implants which have a lifetime guarantee for ruptures. This means I won't have to have them replaced (unless I choose too after kids, weight gain/loss etc.) and if they do rupture, they the implant will be replaced for free which was really important to me. 

Incision

There are a couple of options of incision placement for a breast augmentation with a crease incision being the most popular. The decision will be made by your surgeon based on your requirements and his personal incision preference. The infographic below shows the four options. 




Size

Deciding on a size has definitely been the hardest part, and two weeks before my op and I'm still not sure! It's not as easy as going to your surgeon and saying I want a 34DD implant - it doesn't work like that and the same implant can look completely different on everyone. Sizes of implants are measured in 'CCs'. I was told that approx 150-200cc equals one cup size but I'm not sure how accurate that is! I chose my size by bringing in photos of what I wanted and the surgeon recommended 400 in my left an 425 in my right (to even them out!). I'm trusting my surgeons opinion on the size,he said it's probably the biggest I can go without risking rippling and stretch marks so I definitely wasn't going any bigger. I got sent the table below by one of the girls I met on a forum to help me choose a size; again, I can't say how accurate it is but based on my size now and what my surgeon suggested, it seems spot on! Top line is the size you want to be and the ones down the left hand side is your current size. 




B Cup
C Cup
D cup
DD Cup
Larger sizes
32AA
200-300cc
250-350cc
300-400cc
350-450cc
400-500cc
32A
200-300cc
225-325cc
275-375cc
325-425cc
375-475cc
32B

200-300cc
250-350cc
300-400cc
350-450cc






34AA
225-325cc
275-375cc
325-425cc
375-475cc
425-550cc
34A
200-300c
250-350cc
300-400cc
350-450cc
400-500cc
34B

225-325cc
275-375cc
325-425cc
375-475cc






36AA
250-350cc
300-400cc
350-450cc
400-500cc
450-550cc
36A
225-325cc
275-375cc
325-425cc
375-475cc
425-550cc
36B

250-350cc
300-400cc
350-450cc
400-500cc






38AA
275-375cc
325-425cc
375-475cc
425-550cc
475-600cc
38A
250-350cc
300-400cc
350-450cc
400-500cc
450-550cc
38B

275-300cc
325-425cc
375-475c
425-550cc

I've seen a lot about a rice test to test implant sizes, I haven't tried it myself but everyone I know that has tried it says it's really accurate. If you want to know what 350cc would be like for example, measure out 350g in rice, put it into tights (or similar), tie up and mould into an implant shape and this should be about the same size as a 350cc implant - clever ay! 

Profile

There are four profiles available for implants; (L-R) moderate, moderate plus, high profile and ultra high profile. The moderate implants have the largest width and the least amount projection whereas the ultra high profile has the smallest width and most amount of projection. The profile chosen will depend on the size of your chest (I'm too tiny to have wide implants so mod and mod+ were out!) and the projection you want from your implants. 





Placement

The last decision to be made is on the placement of your implant. If you have little breast tissue, it's likely your surgeon will recommend you go under the muscle to hide the implant and make it look more natural. However, if you already have a decent amount of breast tissue (enough that your surgeon thinks it will cover the implant), they are likely to suggest you go over. In the middle of these two options is 'partials' or 'dual plane' which means the top layer of muscle is over the implant. The diagram below shows all three options. 



There are pros and cons to all options, although overs (and partials) seem to have more cons in my eyes for example more chance of 'bottoming out' and capsular contracture (your body rejecting the implant). This method is also more common for women wanting the 'fake look'. My surgeon did suggest I have overs but based on the research I'd done and the 'after' photos of many women with overs, I asked for partials. This was simply because I want a natural look on the top of the implant. The photo below shows how partials work, and it was a personal choice - not for everyone! I would have gone for unders as there's less chance on complications but I had too much breast tissue, there's a chance of double bubbling where you can see the tissue and implant separately and I didn't want that!



So there's  breast augmentation 101! I really hope for the people that have messaged me with questions, concerns and wanting more information about the technical bits of the procedure, it has helped you. I can't stress how important it is to be well informed when starting such a big journey so hopefully you lots of new information! 

If there's anything you want to ask about any part of my BA and don't want to do it publicly, please email me or tweet me and I'll be more than happy to help. I'll be doing another post probably a week or two after the op to discuss the operation itself and recovery - and probably tweeting the whole way through!

I also need to say a massive thank you to the community for being so supportive through my journey. It has been really tough with friends an family no agreeing and feeling like I didn't have anyone to talk to about it and everyone has been so amazing <3 

Love Lauren xx

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14 comments

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. ahh thanks lovely. No problem at all :-) I'll keep you posted but any questions, let me know! xxx

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Thanks Glenn. It's such a shame that there's such a stigma about just changing something that affects self confidence on a daily basis. Praying for good results! :)

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  3. This is such an insightful post for those wanting to go through this procedure. I think its great that you have done so much research and have decided to share with the world!

    Thank you!

    www.zeenaxena.com xx

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I just thought it was important because I know there's so many others looking to go through it but aren't sure where to start! I hope it helps any of those people :-) xx

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  4. Hi sweetie, I love this post! It's so informative and has given me alot to think about! I have been thinking about it on and off for years! So happy for you. X
    Danielle

    Boothy's Abode

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  5. This post is amazing I learnt a lot! Thank you for taking the time to write this! Looking to have mine done next March/April, I will be looking out for recovery posts if you decide to do some, thats what I'm dreading the most! xxx

    www.thebeautydollx.blogspot.co.uk

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  6. Only found your blog tonight for the first time but already taking a read.. Such a great post, been thinking about something like this for a while now after having a lump and some tissue removed due to a cancer scare earlier this year and now they're rather uneven :(. Thank you for talking so honestly about it - you've given me more info than my GP did! Now heading over to read your update blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi,This is an interesting blog that you have posted, you shares a lot of things about Breast Augmentation. Thanks for sharing.
    Breast Implants London

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  9. Fab post. Really interesting read.
    I wish you all the best with the op and look forward to seeing/reading your follow-up. :)

    Caroline.x
    www.notesfromcaroline.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I used to think the same as you but overs don't give a fake look at all. In fact, they look the most natural. SALINE overs look terrible and fake on a thin person but silicone looks great and sits and moves like natural breast tissue. Under the muscle implants get pushed inferiorly and laterally over time and can give you animation deformity.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Fascinating read - I thought I knew quite a lot about Breast Augmentation until I read this! The whole overs, under, partials..
    I hope they turned out perfect for you!

    Zoe | nuggetstumpblog.com

    ReplyDelete

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