Patient story: Breast augmentation

I chose to have my procedure with Mr Douglas McGeorge, Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon at Spire Cheshire Hospital.

I left the hospital once again confident that all was well but the overall feeling that I was not on my own and that support was there if I needed it helped me greatly

I chose Mr McGeorge as during my research on various local cosmetic surgeons I was very impressed with the level of qualification and experience he had in this field. I was particularly pleased to see that not only was he a fully accredited plastic surgeon but that he is also recognised  internationally and also with the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. He was also President of BAAPS between 2006 and 2008 and a member of BAPRAS. He still continues to teach new young surgeons in the field of plastic surgery so I felt very safe in his hands.

I decided to undergo cosmetic surgery after many years of deliberation. I had wanted breast augmentation for around 20 years as I was never happy with my size but was afraid to undergo such surgery following media stories of horrendous results and failed implants. However, more and more people have now had similar surgery with success and I found myself coming across more people “like myself” (ordinary folk, not celebrities) who had taken the plunge and were very happy. I decided to look more seriously into having breast implants and took about a year researching on the internet the various types of implant and possible surgeons who might perform my surgery. I also joined a couple of forums and asked questions about the experience of others who had undergone the surgery I wanted. 

At my initial consultation, Mr McGeorge was brilliant. I was examined and given an opportunity to say exactly what I wanted. Although I was still quite nervous at that point, I felt completely able to explain why I was unhappy with my size and also what I wanted (I didn’t want to end up huge and out of proportion). Mr McGeorge was very patient and understanding and he explained everything about the procedure and what implant he wanted to use including size, etc. More importantly for me, he explained exactly why he wanted to use a particular type and size of implant, along with the type of surgery he would employ. I felt completely satisfied and totally confident in his ability to give me what I had wanted for so long.

I had to say in hospital overnight as my surgery was late in the afternoon.I attended a pre op appointment before my surgery; the nurse was wonderful and made me feel completely at ease. I spoke to her about the fact that I was still embarrassed about wanting such surgery at my age. 

She was fantastic and I came out of the pre-op feeling confident and totally at ease.  The support I received from all the staff during my operation and recovery was excellent and I was sent home with full details on how to look after myself and what to do if I was worried about anything. 

My post-op examination was good and I was never kept waiting past my appointment times during any of my visits to the hospital which is a wonderful experience! I knew throughout that the staff at the hospital were only a phone call away if I was worried and I did call the hospital on one such occasion following my operation as I was not sure about some post-operative symptoms I was experiencing. The staff were brilliant and as a precaution I was told to pop to the hospital so a doctor could check everything was ok (everything was fine and my symptoms were explained to me). I left the hospital once again confident that all was well but the overall feeling that I was not on my own and that support was there if I needed it helped me greatly.

My follow up appointment was exactly as expected. I was greeted by one of the staff nurses who removed all my bandages and tapes and cleaned up the surgical area ready for Mr McGeorge. He then appeared and inspected the site and once satisfied that all was well and that I was happy with my initial results he asked if I wanted to see my “before” and “after” pictures. I was keen to see these and couldn’t believe the difference! It is amazing how quickly you forget what you used to look like. I was given further advice regarding what to expect and how to look after my scars and allowed to go home with the knowledge that the staff of the hospital were always available if I was worried.

Now I feel amazing and so happy with the result of my surgery. I sometimes wish I had done this years before if I had known how liberating it would feel. I can now wear clothes I love and my overall confidence has improved. Although I knew I was always unhappy with my size, I really underestimated the difference the surgery would make to my sense of well-being. 

My advice to anyone considering a similar procedure is to be mentally ready for such surgery and psychologically aware of your motivations. I think it is also important to find a surgeon you like and have confidence in. I think the forums can be a great place to get some practical advice and Spire Cheshire Hospital also has a site for patient case studies which is good to look at. Basically, do your homework and don’t rush into anything. The surgery will be there when you are ready for it.

I think the rise in cosmetic surgery is probably down to the fact that this is now socially acceptable. In previous years this type of surgery was reserved for “celebrities” and not for everyday people. There did used to be a stigma attached to such extravagance but thankfully nowadays I think our society is much more understanding of the reasons why people want to undergo such procedures and perhaps not as judgemental about it. 

I think there are few people now who do not know someone who has not had something done. The internet has also meant that access to information regarding the vast range of procedures available, has probably also contributed to the rise in cosmetic procedures. I say this because the internet means people can research options, speak to other people considering similar procedures, read patient testimonials and generally get a lot more information easily and quickly - this then opens the door for people who perhaps previously would have remained in unhappy ignorance?

Mrs F, March 2013

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