Ashley, aged 25, from Southampton, wanted a breast enlargement since she was 18.

"When I went on a holiday I felt very self-conscious when I was wearing a bikini and I was always reluctant to lie down on a sun lounger as it made my breasts look even smaller!

"I wanted to have a breast enlargement because I felt that it would make me feel more womanly. I have quite a petite frame – I’m a size 6 and 5’ 5” – and I felt that having larger breasts would make me look more shapely.

"I spent a long time considering cosmetic surgery, and when a friend had a breast enlargement procedure and looked fantastic I knew it was the right choice for me too."

Why Spire Cosmetic Surgery?

"I decided to book a consultation at Spire Southampton Hospital and met my cosmetic surgeon, Mr Nigel Horlock, who came highly recommended. I had four consultations in total, where we discussed exactly what I should expect from breast enlargement surgery. Mr Horlock made me feel very comfortable and I knew I was in safe hands.

"To prepare for the enlargement, I was told to buy a sports bra to try out different sized implants. Wearing them inside my bra helped me discover which size would best suit my frame. I also had a much better idea of how much the augmentation would change the shape of my body. It was very important to me that my breast enlargement should look as natural as possible – I didn’t want them looking like they had just been stuck on!"

Breast enlargement: before and after

"I had my procedure in March 2011, going from a size 32B to a 32D. I’d never had any surgery before so I was really nervous. That’s why it was so important to choose a surgeon and hospital with a great reputation, and where I knew the clinical quality was second to none. With Spire I knew I’d be looked after well.

"The operation took around three hours. When I came around from the anaesthetic I felt a bit sleepy and it took the recovery team a little while to wake me up. After a few minutes, though, I lifted up the blanket and took a little peek at the new me. I remember smiling to myself and thinking : 'Yes, he’s done a really good job!'. I was taken into my room where I slept for a little while. After a few hours I felt very perky and the nurse even commented on how well I looked following my surgery.

"I had plenty of visitors that evening and felt on top of the world, apart from my chest feeling a bit tight. In the early hours of the morning I was actually walking around the wards as I was just buzzing from the whole experience. I felt like all my Christmases had come at once!"

Recovering from cosmetic surgery

"I was in hospital for a total of one night and was discharged home the following morning. I have never stayed overnight in a hospital before, but it was very comfortable. I had my own room and I was very well looked after by all of the staff.

"Following my surgery I was unable to sleep on my side, as it felt a bit uncomfortable, so I slept upright for a few weeks until the swelling went down. I took regular pain killers every four hours, which helped. I wouldn’t say I was in a great deal of pain, my chest just felt a bit tight.

"I had to wear a sports bra for six weeks post-surgery until the swelling went down. The bra was fantastic as it held my breasts in place but it didn’t feel like I was wearing anything. It didn’t irritate my chest as sports bras don’t have under-wiring like most normal bras do.

"I suppose the most difficult part of the recovery period was not being able to lie down on my side to sleep, as I found it very difficult to try to sleep sitting upright. I was actually very surprised as to how I felt whilst recovering from my surgery - I didn’t expect to feel so well, I thought I would be in a lot of pain."

Advice about breast augmentation surgery

"Advice I would give to anybody considering a breast augmentation is that you should do your research and make sure you're really comfortable with and know the credentials of your surgeon and the hospital where you'll be operated on. Also, make sure you will be able to relax and are well looked after post-surgery, then you should have a very speedy recovery.

"I feel a lot more confident about myself now. It's lovely to put on a nice bikini and have a little something more to put in it. I’m actually a bit overwhelmed by how natural and good they look.

"From the very start of the process, to my very last consultation, I was looked after to the highest of standards. I had a fantastic experience at Spire Southampton Hospital, everybody was so professional and caring, I definitely made the right decision.

"I’d definitely recommend Spire Cosmetic Surgery to anybody who is considering having cosmetic surgery. The fact that they have actual hospitals, and not just clinics or centres, is a major factor – you know you’ll get the best treatment, high quality surgery and good aftercare. I wouldn’t have gone anywhere else."