Four years after giving birth I decided now was the time to explore plastic surgery. I am 40 next year and want to be the best I can be at that age. After returning from our summer holiday, where I sat playing the ‘has she had her boobs done?’ game to myself every day, I thought I would take the first step of booking a consultation and getting more facts.
After considering a number of plastic surgeons with consultations that mainly focused on sussing out whether I could afford the surgery or not, I then had an appointment at Manchester Spire with Mr Murphy. My first thought was, what a great location and easy free parking right outside.
My consultation with Mr Murphy was in a professional environment and it immediately put me at ease. We discussed my motivations for the surgery, the procedure and used a high tech machine to measure the area in detail.
There was no competition, I wanted to proceed with Mr Murphy and arranged the date and all the details with his wonderful secretary.
The week before my operation I went back to see Mr Murphy to finalise my expectations and he explained how I should prepare in the hours leading up to my surgery.
My surgery time was approximately 1:30pm so I was allowed to eat up until 7am and drink only water until 11am.
I was admitted to Manchester Spire at 11am and shown to my room. I think I had the penthouse suite! A huge room, with TV, comfy bed, shower room and wardrobe. I did think to myself that I should have bought a lovely smelly candle to light.
The nurses began with their checks on blood pressure, hydration etc. Mr Murphy came to meet me and drew the guide on my chest, reassuring me that I would be absolutely fine and to look forward to it. My anaesthetist was next to visit and he was great at providing more reassurance, including telling me that due to my excellent health I should relax now and not worry. “Yeah right”, I thought.
Fortunately they were running slightly ahead of schedule so I didn’t have to sit around worrying for long. At 12:45pm I walked down to the operating theatre and to be honest, I remember the drip going into my hand, then that was it.
I think I was awake and in recovery at 2:30pm and in my room sipping water by 3pm. I did not feel at all sick, just tired and spaced out. I felt comfortable and wasn’t experiencing much pain at all. By 4pm I was happily eating a cheese and pickle sandwich!
The MPS team told me to drink lots of water so I did. I texted my family and friends to let them know I was ok, slept a bit more and by 7pm was enjoying a lovely dinner and watching TV.
By this point, I had more movement in my arms than I thought and wasn’t in much pain at all! If anything, I felt excited and relieved. The nurses at MPS are incredible and I wasn’t sure I even wanted to go home the next day.
I’d noted at this point that having a strong core is an advantage. I found the most difficult thing to do was to use my arms to push down and sit myself up, and to get myself out of bed. I concentrated on using my stomach muscles to sit up and down.
I slept reasonably well overnight and the bed was very comfy! The morning after the surgery, the pain was negligible, and I was only taking paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Mr Murphy and Simon the anaesthetist came to see me at 7am. They asked how I felt, said they were very happy with how the surgery went and told me to continue to rest. Mr Murphy said that his nurse, Jac, would be in to see me this morning to fit a bra and talk me through the first week of recovery. By this point I felt ready to put a bra on, thinking the support would take the feeling of pressure away slightly.
Breakfast was delicious and I happily watched television whilst getting used to what I could and couldn’t do with my arms. I could put my hair in a ponytail. I could dress myself. I could shower myself. These were all important to me as prior to my surgery I had met a lady at a wedding who told me she couldn’t dress herself for nearly 2 weeks after the procedure!
Jac soon came to see me and I wanted her to stay all day. She fitted my bra quickly, a very comfortable and not that unattractive number. She gave me one in black and white and said to keep these on until she saw me again in a week. Jac reiterated what I needed to do to look after myself in the next few weeks, including:
At this point I had no idea what size I was in terms of bra size. The bras I was given were stretchy and I think came in sizes 10, 12, 14, etc.
After Jac left I had my blood pressure and temperature taken again. The nurse talked me through my painkillers, which were still just paracetamol and ibuprofen. After that they were happy for me to leave when I was ready.
I didn’t want to go! Honestly, the peace and quiet, the lovely room, staff and being waited on suits me very well thank you. I was picked up to go home at 1pm. I showered, dressed and walked to the car no problem at all.
In the first 48 hours post-surgery I felt tired, so slept a lot more than usual. It took me a few wiggles to get off the sofa, or up and out of bed but other than that I was able to make lunch and dinner and sorted the washing out.
My boobs looked like two bullets. They were rock hard and warm! I put a couple of ice packs on and they seemed to like that though. They felt bruised, and the bit of pain I did have seemed to be from under the breast where the incision was and the little bandages that were sat on it.
I was surprised to feel out of breath from just walking up the stairs and wondered if that’s normal so Googled it. I am a fit person and liken the feeling to when you have a chesty cold and have taken lots of painkillers. That kind of out of breath, a bit of a spaced out feeling.
I work ½ mile from home so quickly returned to work on Monday morning. The word I would use for Day 4 is ‘stingy’ as that’s how my boobs were feeling – I wasn’t taking any painkillers though.
Being at work was definitely better for me than being at home where I can always find a job to do. It was much better to be sat at my desk than moving around lots.
I was really looking forward to seeing Jac again on Thursday for my follow up so that she could reassure me that everything was normal so far. I went for a walk in the evening. I really enjoyed that and didn’t have the shortness of breath afterwards.
By Day 4 it was much easier to move around and use my arms. However, I could still not raise them above my head. Good excuse to book blow drys in! There was a change with the feel of my boobs which were still rock hard and not stinging as much today. The waterproof bandages under my breast stayed on. MPS gave me a change of bandage so I planned to be brave the next day and change them myself.
With every day it was getting better. I felt like my stitches hurt today, and I didn’t feel confident enough to remove the dressing on my own. I felt like the bra I was fitted with was looser which means the swelling is reduced. I was still looking forward to seeing Jac again the next day for my check up.
Phew, Jac took off the bandages under my breasts which were starting to irritate me. I now had a small strip of surgical tape covering each scar. The scars by the way are tiny!
I still had a little of bruising under the breast and a small amount of swelling.
On Day 9 I woke up after sleeping on my side with no pain at all. I went out power walking every day for the last 5 days with no problem, but was really missing the gym. I could definitely tell the swelling has gone down as everything just felt more relaxed and normal.
After a fortnight, my breasts were still feeling sensitive! I just wanted to take my bra off anytime I could. Having looked at the resources on the MPS website I knew it was perfectly normal to have overly sensitive breasts and nipples after surgery for some time so I wasn’t worried. I was more worried about keeping my bra on as I really wanted to sleep without it.
It was easy to change the surgical tape which sits over my scars and I really couldn’t believe how small and barely visible my scars are.
I was at my friend’s house one night, and of course they wanted to see my new additions. Their reaction was “OMG! They do not look fake at all, it’s like they have always been that size”, so I was very happy.
I would say that for the final 10 days or so the thing I noticed the most was the feeling of having sunburnt nipples. Having a bra on all the time is irritating to say the least and I found myself desperate to take it off as soon as I got home for a few hours. So I turned again to the MPS website and found an article which told me that this is all still perfectly normal. That reassured me that it’s OK, the nerves are simply reattaching. I did notice over the last 2 days that they weren’t as sensitive which was a relief!
I went shopping yesterday for the first time! I absolutely loved trying on clothes without wondering if a padded bra would make it look better.
A friend of mine who also had breast augmentation recommended one of those pregnancy pillows, the long cylinder ones, as for sleeping you can wrap them around you for more support. I only remembered this piece of advice today and wished I had been organised as I bet this would have helped.