Hi, my name is Maxine Heasman from Surrey in the UK, and Nicole has asked me to share my story with you. I do not mind you knowing my full name as I am the Founder of the Breast Implant Information Society (UK) and Author of The Ultimate Cleavage: A Practical Guide to Cosmetic Breast Enlargement Surgery.
Hat's off to Nicole for producing this extremely informative, and desperately needed, web site. There is no better way of learning about breast enlargement than from those women who have been through the experience. Although surgeons and doctors can all give you good clinical advice about the procedure, is it unlikely that they have had a breast enlargement themselves! It takes another implanted woman to let you know what you're really in for! Nicole's site will provide you with an abundance of useful information and contacts.
Now for my story . . .
I had my own breasts enlarged (34A to 34C) 3 years ago (January 1996) when I was 34 years of age. I had always been unhappy with my small bust, but in my younger years my breasts were firm and pert! Being so small, I never really bothered to wear bras - there would always be a dimple in the bra material owing to the lack of substance behind it!! This lack of support over the years meant that my breasts inevitably gave way to gravity. The final straw came when I saw myself topless on the beach on my 1994 holiday video - I looked awful, what little I had looked all droopy and saggy. I had the means to find the funds (£3,000) as I had been planning to recondition the engine of my car. In the end my breasts got reconditioned and the car had to be sold!
I chose to have conventional round-shaped silicone gel-filled implants with a textured outer surface (yes, we can have silicone here in the UK!). My implants are both 320cc in size and are located in the retroglandular (over the chest muscle) position. My incision scars are located beneath each breast - they are about 2" long and are completely hidden from view, in fact I have to physically lift my breasts up to see the scars (which are now so faded and soft). Even when lying down topless it would be difficult for anyone to see the scars. I am absolutely delighted with the results of my surgery.
I made sure that I was totally familiar with my existing breasts before undergoing surgery - through regular monthly breast self-examination. Failure to do this can result in many unnecessary worries during the early months of recovery, when all sorts of lumps and bumps can be felt. It is also necessary to continue to perform regular monthly breast self-examination once you have implants - as should every woman whether implanted or not!
It took around 5/6 months for my implants to 'drop' into their permanent position and for my breasts to look and feel real. You can see the results from my photographs by clicking on this hypertext or following the link at the bottom of the page.
One year after the surgery I was still very numb on the underside of each breast and my nipples were still extremely sensitive. At this stage I began to worry that I was one of those unfortunate women whose breasts do not return to normal! Fortunately, after 18 months my breasts were back to normal although I will say, after three years, my left breast does occasionally become numb on the underside (usually when I am due 'on' and my breasts are swollen).
I have had no problems at all with my implants although there have been a couple of events that are worth noting. One year after surgery I discovered a lump on the top part of my left breast. Upon investigation (via an 'ultrasound' scan) it transpired that the lump was a harmless cyst. Under normal circumstances the cyst would have been 'drained' via a hypodermic needle and syringe, however, as the cyst was so close to the implant the surgeon decided to leave things as they were. The surgeon did not want to risk accidentally rupturing the implant with the hypodermic needle. The cyst disappeared naturally about 10 months afterwards!
I think it is important for you to be aware that a loss of weight can significantly affect the look of the breasts (particularly if your implants are located above the chest muscle). Breast tissue is fatty tissue so when we lose weight we also lose breast tissue - if there is not enough natural breast tissue to conceal the implant then visible ripples may appear through the skin. This happened to me.
I usually weigh 8 stone 7 pounds but a severe bought of the flu meant that I lost over 8 pounds and I was horrified to discover that I could see ripples on the top part of both breasts. These ripples were even worse if I leant forward. Fortunately, once I regained my weight the ripples were no longer visible!
For those of you considering some of the larger sized implants, please do consider how any weight gain in the future (as tends to happen when we reach middle age!) may cause pressure in the implanted breast.
To date, I have been in communication with over 1,200 women who have contacted the Breast Implant Information Society (BIIS) firstname.lastname@example.org so I am in a good position to tell you that each woman is a unique individual who has her own unique recovery. Some women seem to breeze through the whole thing - indeed one woman told me it was "no more painful than going to the dentist". Most of us, however, seem to find that it can be very painful during the first week of recovery and that it takes quite some time to get back to normal - another woman told me that she would "rather go through the pain of child-birth than go through that again!".
(Note: We must all go through it again at some point in the future - breast implants do not last a lifetime.)
What you are about to read on the following pages is an edited version of my diary, which covers the period from the morning of surgery to 36 days post-op. I hope you find it helpful. The full version of my diary can be found in The Ultimate Cleavage. Please visit my web site to find out more about this and the Breast Implant Information Society
View My Photos - Maxine