T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 64207
posted 10-23-2013 04:51 AM
Hi there, hoping you guys might be able to offer your thoughts on my current situation. ♥
First things first, please feel free to point me in the right direction if this thread is misplaced. Keep in mind that regarding the topic of breast augmentation I'm not trying to suggest that larger breasts are an ideal that females should have to meet, or that having small breasts in any way is inherently bad - this is simply a personal choice that I feel will significantly improve my quality of life. I'm a 22-year-old female who is physically healthy, despite being quite underweight, which appears to be due to genetics. I'm around 154cm (5'2") and weigh around 40kg (90ishlbs). I've investigated this with several doctors and all have advised there is no medical reason for me to need to gain weight, it's more of a self-confidence thing. I'm currently investigating alternative methods (seeing a naturopath, possibly other specialists in future) for weight gain. A side effect of my weight is that despite going through puberty at 12 years old, my breasts never developed even to an A cup. I've seen a doctor who has checked that the tissue is all there, so they have developed, just not really *grown* beyond that. They literally will not fill a AA cup bra - my only fitting options are those flattening 'bralette' options designed for pre-teens, which would only help to reduce my breast size further. The doctor I saw also noted that one is significantly smaller than the other, moreso than the normal size difference between a woman's breasts. I visited the doctor to discuss the possibility of improving my confidence by increasing my breast size - ideally through hormones, or a similar method. My doctor consulted with another doc, and explained to me that there really isn't anything they'd be able to do for me there, but suggested referring me to a plastic surgeon to discuss breast augmentation. I'd be lying if I said that I'd never considered the possibility of undergoing breast implant surgery, but it was always a far off pipe dream of sorts - something that would be great, but just not a realistic option. My doctor went on to explain that breast augmentation is quite a popular surgery, and that many women where I live (Australia) have these procedures done. She definitely seemed to think that this is a road I should investigate further if I wish to increase my breast size. I do believe that having breast augmentation would increase my self-confidence hugely. I could not point to a single spot on my body that I'm happy with, and my breasts are pretty much the focus of that. I avoid going to the beach or wearing swimsuits around my friends, I feel extremely awkward about my body if I go out, and I have this unnecessary resentment towards other women who wear clothes that really show off their breasts, and I hate that because it just feels so awful, and because I know that if I felt great about a part of my body I'd really want to show it off, too! I'm booked in for a consultation with a plastic surgeon tomorrow, who I understand will be able to answer a lot of questions that I might have. I've spoken to my partner of 6 years about it, and he understands that I have a lot of hang-ups about my body, and told me that he doesn't have particularly strong feelings for or against plastic surgery. I know he'd support me if I decided to get the surgery. I'd definitely feel awkward speaking about it to my parents, and I wouldn't be quite sure how to deal with bringing it up with other people - obviously I wouldn't naturally grow that much overnight, but I'm concerned that people would, for lack of a better word, shame me for choosing to get implants. I'm also concerned about the surgery itself, upkeep, and cost - in Australia, from browsing online, it looks like I'd be out of pocket at least $10,000. I could save myself some of that by getting private health insurance, which would incur an ongoing cost but reduce hospital fees quite significantly. I guess I'm just looking for input and conversation, especially from anyone who's undergone breast augmentation themselves, knows someone who has, or has any strong feelings for or against this surgery. Thank you for reading~!
Member # 90293
posted 10-23-2013 08:13 AM
Your consultation with the surgeon will be the best place for you to ask questions about the surgery and whether you'd need to do any upkeep afterwards. Surgery is a major decision, so I think it's really important to make sure you're as close to 100% confident about your decision as you can be before going ahead with the procedure. That will include feeling strong enough and comfortable enough with your choice to withstand anyone's opinions or judgments. As you've said, this isn't exactly something you could keep secret once it was done. I think it's worth giving some thought to what is keeping you from discussing this possibility with people in your life. What do you think are the pros and cons of having these conversations with people now versus having them after the surgery is done? I also want to check in with you about how you feel about having scars on your body. It sounds like you don't feel too good about your body as is. how do you think you'd feel about having scars? Here's an article we have on our site written by someone who chose breast augmentation.
Member # 64207
posted 10-23-2013 08:50 AM
Thanks for your response. It's certainly a major decision, and not one I'll be taking lightly. If I decide to go ahead with the surgery, it will be after I've explored all other available paths, including attempted weight gain through a naturopath's assistance. If I do go ahead, I plan to speak to my therapist about ways to deal with opinions and/or judgement from other people. I'm not opposed to having these discussions before the surgery - in fact, I'd much prefer to! I wouldn't want to undergo invasive surgery without informing those important to me the reason why I'm doing it. I'd be worse off discussing it with them afterwards, since it would be like I kept it a secret beforehand, which is absolutely not my intention. I guess I'm nervous about approaching people to talk about it, since it's somewhat of a touchy subject. Plastic surgery is becoming more popular but people definitely still have their hang-ups about it and can feel quite strongly against it. I wouldn't mind telling my friends, since people around my age tend to embrace these sorts of things and are less judgmental, but I'd be quite anxious to bring it up with older people, specifically my parents, just because I feel as though they'd be against it and would tell me it was a silly decision. Ultimately it would be up to me, but I'd prefer to have my parents' support if I chose to go ahead with it, and I feel as though I'd have a difficult time explaining to them how self-conscious I feel about my breasts as they are. My parents and I are close, but I've never been the type of person to confide in them regarding things like body issues. I really appreciate your concern regarding scarring, but that's actually something that I'd be fine with! I understand the scars can be quite prominent, but if the tradeoff was feeling better about my breasts, I'd be happy to deal with them. Thank you so much for the link to that article! I've been browsing Scarleteen for years and have never come across that particular one, so I'll give it a read.
Member # 3
posted 10-23-2013 09:58 AM
One thing I'd suggest asking the surgeon about during your consult is the studies we have so far on cosmetic surgery and self-esteem. In a nutshell, what we've got makes clear that cosmetic surgeries rarely increase self-esteem or radically improve self-image, that that work is really mental health work, when we see results. On the other hand, if someone doesn't have overall self-image or esteem issues, and what they have truly is -- which is really something you'll be the biggest expert about -- only tied to a given body part looking different, and the surgery achieves that to their satisfaction, then there DO tend to be positive changes associated. But when you say you couldn't point to a single part of your body you're happy with, it suggests to me you might be in the former group, not the latter. If that's the case, the thing to know is that one surgery might not make a radical change with that, and might just put you on a path of thinking you need more, more, more, all while not doing things that really CAN improve self-image overall. When we see people who basically wind up getting surgery after surgery, never stopping, from what we know from study so far, that's often what is going on.
So, it's something I'd talk about, both to make sure your surgeon knows and is square with you about all of that, but also to have a talk with them so you can be sure this really is what you need and a risk worth taking.
Member # 64207
posted 10-23-2013 11:36 AM
Thank you for your response, Heather.
I completely understand where you're coming from. When I say that I can't point to a single area on my body that I'm happy with, that really comes down to two things: lack of breasts, and being bone thin. I've explored many different avenues for weight gain and may even bring it up at my consultation, to see if the surgeon could recommend anywhere for weight gain that no one else has pointed me towards yet. I definitely feel as though my self-esteem problems related to how I look come from my weight and my breasts, and I do feel as though 'correcting' these two problems would result in quite a self-esteem boost. This isn't a decision I'd want to take lightly - ideally, I'm going to explore every and any path to gain weight first to firstly make sure that fixing one area I'm unhappy with does result in a self-confidence boost, and secondly to see if filling out my frame might result in bigger and more even breasts. Again, I really appreciate your post, and it's definitely something that I'll bring up at my consultation. I'm getting quite nervous, and was actually considering cancelling at the last minute tomorrow morning... but I just need to keep reminding myself that going to a consultation doesn't mean that I'm locking myself in to get breast augmentation. I just want to be properly educated and understand everything, before making any decisions.
Member # 3
posted 10-23-2013 11:44 AM
Since you're clearly thinking seriously about this, and already have the consult scheduled, it seems to be going is probably your best choice.
That conversation, and the information you get from it, will likely play a big part in helping you make this choice. You may get information that way you wouldn't otherwise, and be able to talk directly with the person who knows exactly what they'd do, can tell you exactly the risks involved, all tailored to you. And by all means: a consult isn't a commitment. It's just a fact-finding opportunity for you. You can also just vibe it all out some while you're there: in other words, even just being in that setting and with that surgeon may ping some gut feelings. But walking out of there saying no, maybe or yes (or no, maybe or yes to that surgeon, specifically): all acceptable answers.
Member # 64207
posted 10-23-2013 12:18 PM
Thanks again for your post, Heather!
I'm looking forward to hearing what the surgeon will be able to explain to me at the consultation. Online I can find a lot of information and even personal accounts, but none of that will stand up to a surgeon looking at what he has to work with, and explaining everything tailored to me, personally, like you mentioned. Thanks for cementing the idea that the consultation doesn't mean I'm committing to anything. I'm glad that we can view it as more of an information gathering session, and not "step 1 of plan: breast implants!" or something. While I'm here I just wanted to quickly thank you for your prompt replies and ample information - I've been browsing Scarleteen for years, since before I became sexually active, and it's helped educate me and others so much. I'm so glad this place exists!
Member # 3
posted 10-23-2013 01:01 PM
You're so welcome!
Thanks for that.
Member # 64207
posted 10-24-2013 04:47 AM
I thought I'd post an update after having my consultation earlier today.
My appointment was at 11:10am, and I finished up around 1pm. After filling in some forms including my basic medical history, I spoke to three people regarding the augmentation, starting off with a nurse, who discussed the different types of implants offered, and explained that their surgery prefers to use a type of silicon implant that appears to be quite solid - she showed me one that had been cut in half, to show me that they can't leak. I'd been leaning towards saline implants, as if they do leak then the body just absorbs them, but I feel comfortable knowing that this particular surgery uses a silicon that won't leak. The nurse also discussed the payment and finance option available for long-term payments, which involves a 40% deposit upfront and fortnightly payments over the following 2.5 years. In order to be eligible for this plan, I'd need to make a couple of lifestyle changes I was planning on making anyway (holding a current driver's license, and working full-time). After this, I saw the surgeon. He too discussed the types of implants, sizing, etc, and asked what size I'd be comfortable going up to. I explained that I was looking for proportion and not a huge size, and probably a B or C cup, which he agreed seemed like a good choice. After this discussion, he examined my breasts both with me sitting up, and lying down with my arms behind my head, and agreed with my original GP that the right one is significantly smaller than the other, and both are quite small. He gave me a few in-patient forms and explained that filling them in didn't mean I was committing to the surgery, but it allowed me to progress to the next step of the consultation. Finally, I spoke to a woman about the look I would be considering for my implants. She brought out a bra, a form-fitting tank top, and some different sized gel inserts that would simulate different implant sizes. She left the room so that I could figure out which size felt best for me, mentioning that the surgeon is quite conservative with the implant sizes and normally recommends smaller to start off with. I was quite happy with the size he recommended - I did try the larger ones on just to see how they'd look, but I definitely felt a bit too top-heavy. At this point, I was asked what time I was looking at having the surgery done, and I explained that this consultation was really a way for me to gather information and get an idea of if surgery is the right choice for me. She explained that the forms I'd filled in would still be valid later on, so if I decide to go ahead with the surgery, I won't need to repeat the consultation. She gave me a little more information and that was the end! I definitely felt out of place when I first entered, and after finding out about the pricing, I started to feel like this was just some unreachable goal and felt pretty bad about even considering it as an option. However, after speaking to the surgeon I felt better, and after seeing what I would look like with the implants in? I felt amazing! I was so happy with my body, even being so thin - I just felt like I looked right. The image of myself standing in the full-length mirror with absolutely average sized breasts is an image that I can't get out of my head. It's something I've wanted for so long and seeing what it would look like in the flesh was crazy. After the consultation, I'm still considering breast augmentation as an option for me. I have a considerable amount of time before making a decision, of course, and in that time I'll be making improvements in my life generally, continuing my therapy for OCD/anxiety/self-esteem, trying to gain weight to see if that fills out my chest at all, but I'm very happy to know that surgery is an option if all else fails. Pricing is the biggest factor standing in my way, but knowing I can make the majority of the payments in small amounts over 2.5 years following the surgery definitely helps a lot.
Member # 90293
posted 10-24-2013 06:01 AM
It sounds like you got the information you needed, and that there was very little pressure from the medical team to make one decision or another. I'm glad to hear both of these things.