Home Email Me Search Links Blog

 
My Breast Augmentation

 

Important Disclaimer: This page is only included for interest and information, it does NOT constitute Medical Advice. I will not be responsible for any hormone treatment or surgery you may pursue.  Such treatment should always be done under the supervision of a qualified medical professional.

Background
I had been taking female hormones intermittently since May 1994, and continuously since September 1999.  This had resulted in considerable breast development, but by early 2001 my breasts were no longer growing in size - they were stuck at a small B cup size.  I had transitioned at the end of 2000 and they were smaller than I wanted.  I thus began contemplating breast augmentation but initially did nothing about it.  However my boyfriend, Martin, was all in favour of it, and as a Christmas present he gave me a large cheque nominally made out to a local Cosmetic Surgery clinic.  [Whether the Christmas present was for him or me has never been decided!]

Thursday, 3 January 2002 (28 days before Breast Augmentation)
I finally plucked up the courage to phone the clinic and make an appointment to see one of their consultants about breast augmentation.  Conveniently they sometimes worked Sunday, and the first suitable appointment was in just 2 weeks time.


Before: A generous A and small B cup.  The right breast is slightly smaller than the left.

Sunday (BA-18)
I visited the clinic to discuss with the consultant my breast augmentation.  I had to fill in a medical form and reluctantly commented that I was a “Pre sex reassignment surgery male-to-female transsexual”.  The consultant was very good, he examined my existing bust development and we spent some time looking through photos so that he could he could get an idea of the size and shape I was aiming for.  As suggested I had brought along a bra of the size I wanted. We played around with various trial implants, he also did a test to get a rough idea of volume required.

The final conclusion was for pre-filled 280cc silicone implants, located under the muscle via an breast crease (inframammary) incision.  I would have preferred an armpit (transaxillary) incision but he didn't recommend that, promising better placement with a breast crease insertion, I reluctantly accepted the experts advice.  I was also rather surprised at the small size of the implants he was recommending, but from the sizing results he thought that 280CC would be more than adequate to give me a C cup, while having very little risk of implant give-aways.  He also suggested that I stop taking my hormones until after the operation.

A few minutes later I was back in reception, provisionally booked Friday 1 Feb for my surgery and paid the deposit.  

Tuesday (9 days before BA)
I had my first ever mammogram!  The clinic automatically arranged this at a local hospital for all clients over age 35 who were having breast augmentation.  I perhaps could have argued for an exemption in my case, but I went along with their procedure.  When I got to the unit, the questions asked by the nurse quickly became quite irrelevant, when quizzed about my periods I finally admitted to being a male to female transsexual.  She never blinked an eyelid - I would not like to ever play poker with her!  I didn't really know what to expect for the mammogram, but having my breasts flattened like a sandwich filling was a bit of a surprise.

Tuesday (2 days before BA)
As the date drew near I got simultaneously worried and excited.  Things got off to a bit of a bad start when on Tuesday the Patient Coordinator at the clinic phoned me to confirm everything and answer any final questions I had.  She also told me that my surgery date was now scheduled for Thursday, not Friday!  I had been booked using a provisional surgery schedule, but the final schedule was slightly different and I had never received the letter they had supposedly sent me.  She was all apologies, but I was really upset.  However the mess-up did have some benefits – I had a day less to worry about everything and was forced to take an extra day of work, which I would need.  My boss was very understanding when I explained things to her, but I did feel guilty at leaving her unexpectedly short handed, particularly as I had only been in the job a few weeks.

Thursday (BA Day)
By Wednesday night I was a nervous wreck, not helped by the fact that my inclination to have a few stiff drinks was best resisted!  After a rather sleepless night I went in to work on Thursday morning which helped to distract me.  A midday finish and Martin picked me up and drove me over to the clinic – and then went back to work!  The clinic was quite small, but modern and well equipped, with its own consulting rooms, surgery suite and recovery rooms.  On arrival I had to do lots of admission paper work (one question gave me a much needed laugh – was I pregnant!) and sign a consent form.  I then showered, gave a urine sample, and changed in to my gown before the surgeon, Dr D, came to see me.  He went over my notes and we discussed the appearance I was looking for – “a full but natural looking 36C please”!  At my initial consultation the correct implant size had been determined, but he thought that I could take a little larger and I agreed that he could use his own discretion as to exactly what size he gave me.  After an examination and "marking up", he told me to my surprise that he intended to place the implants subglandular (“overs”) rather than submuscular (“unders”).  Dr D said that he thought that in my case the appearance of the augmented breasts would be better with a subglandular implant placement, and given my preference for a very natural appearance he considered that this more than outweighed any slightly increased possibility of the capsulation problems that I was worried about. 

 

This is what was put inside me!

Next the anaesthetist came in to chat with me and then suddenly, at about 3:00pm, I was asked to go through to the operating suite.  I lay on a trolley and the last thing I remember was being wired up to a monitor, being given an injection and then.... there’s very little I can say about the surgery part!  The next thing I remember was waking up about two hours later feeling pretty miserable, with an uncomfortable pressure around my chest due to it being tightly squeezed by an elasticised wrap/bandage which was covering an impressively large looking mass of bandages and [hopefully!] boobs.

After half an hour or so I was wheeled through to my little room, where thankfully Martin arrived a few minutes later.  I was kept in overnight, I had previously wondered whether this was really necessary, thinking that it was maybe a bit of a money earner for the clinic, but I’m very glad I took their advice as there was definitely no way I wanted to move anywhere that afternoon!



Off the box cover

Friday (1 day after BA)
I managed to get a few hours of fitful sleep and finally awoke about 6:00am, mainly conscious that I was very thirsty and very hungry, and very inconveniently I desperately needed to pee!  This was impossible without the nurse’s assistance, which was very embarrassing.  Before breakfast the nurse returned, took off the bandages and removed the drainage tubes going in to my breasts.  This process got a little painful and I very happily accepted the nurse’s offer of some painkillers.  Her next task was to carefully clean me up a little and then fit me with a surgical bra (basically just a front opening sports bra), worn to keep the implants firmly in the right position during the healing process.  This gave me a first glimpse of my poor, battered, but suddenly very very large breasts - a shame that I was in no condition to enjoy it!

After my belated breakfast, Dr D came and visited me and made a cursory examination.  Thankfully he said that everything had gone very well.  I extracted from him in writing the fact that he had given me round, smooth, high profile, “Paragel” silicone gel implants, 300cc on the left and 325cc on the right to balance a slight difference in tissue volume.

After I got the all clear from the doctor I phoned Martin to come and take me home.  With his help I carefully dressed, collected a weeks supply of antibiotic’s and pain killers, and left the clinic barely 24 hours after arriving.  Once home I wobbled straight in to bed.  I hate sleeping on my back, and the bra was feeling rather tight and uncomfortable, but I was exhausted and got a fair amount of sleep.

Saturday (2 days after BA) - I woke up feeling much better, though still pretty weak and sore.  I managed to get up and be polite to some visitors, but had to be very careful how I moved to avoid aches and pains.  My boobs seemed to weigh a ton, they are actually only about one pound each heavier but was extraordinarily noticeable!

Sunday (3 days after BA) - With Martin's help I had a yummy shallow bath – trying not to wet the dressings under my boobs – and washed my hair.  It was the first time I had had the bra off since I got home, the relief brought a happy smile to my face, and their appearance a happy smile to my boyfriends face!  There was some swelling and bruising but my boobs appeared perfectly sized, if perhaps too high and over-pert - I had been told that it would take several months for everything to stretch and drop in to place properly.

Monday (4 days after BA) - I went back to work far too soon.  I tried to take it very easy with lifting and avoid raising my arms above shoulder level, but I had a very difficult and very tiring day.  I knew I was over doing it and even risking my sutures tearing, and at very short notice had to ask for the next day off - much to annoyance of my boss.

Monday (11 days after BA) - The previous week was rather up and up down, not helped by the horrible weather, a bad cold, tiredness, and perhaps some moodiness resulting from my being off hormones for nearly 3 weeks.  Anyway I had a very quiet and restful weekend and felt almost back to normal by Monday, other than the occasional twinge with some movements. 

Wednesday (13 days after BA)
I went in to the clinic to get the sutures removed.  The nurse said that everything looked and felt excellent, and that Dr D had done a great job.  My boobs were far too firm, and their appearance a little odd, but I was assured that as the remaining bruising and swelling disappeared and my breasts began to stretch, droop and sag over the course of a few months,   their appearance, movement and fall would become totally natural.  

The inframmary incision scars were about 2 inches long, and above rather than actually in the breast crease.  As I feared they were very obvious at the moment but I was promised that they would fade to near invisibility, and will eventually become hidden in the fold of each breast as they settle.  I hoped so.

The nurse gave me instructions to gently massage my breasts for 15 or 20 minutes, 3 or 4 times a day, for a month.  This was a nuisance, particularly as I had to get up extra early on a cold dark work day mornings to do it.  My boyfriend volunteered to help, but I didn’t trust him too much!  

My increasingly hated surgical bra was now thankfully bin'able, but she told me to keep wearing a well fitting sports bra, or at least a soft no-wire bra that offered good support, for another month.  After the clinic I went shopping (conveniently - late night shopping on Wednesday’s!) and bought a variety of soft cup bra's, and also a new dress for Valentines Night.  My bra size was still a bit uncertain, but after some changing room visits I found that 36C’s were a bit tight and 38C's a better fit – but I'm in a constant weight battle so the tendency to a 38 may be more my fault than the surgeon's or bra manufacturers doing!

Thursday (14 days after BA) - Valentine’s Day!  Martin took me out for dinner and I risked wearing the most low cut bra that I had been able to find on Wednesday in order to show off a hint of my ample new "heaving buxom".  The resulting, very high, Pamela Andersen look didn't appeal to me but delighted him - no taste! 

Monday (34 days after BA)
All the swelling and bruising had now gone.  I was still very conscious that the implants were in there, but my breasts had "settled" considerably and softened to almost normal - indeed I was very impressed and happy with their feel, and my boyfriend [rather generously] assured me that he really can’t detect the implants at all.   Dr D seemed to have kept his promise when he said that they would feel natural – now for the look part!  I still had a major worry about the scaring - I generally heal well but there was a long away to go before the incision scars became either concealed or no longer noticeable.  Topless sunbathing isn’t very high on my agenda, but I would have liked it to at least be an option.

I could now soon stop wearing support bra's and become more adventurous, although I still needed to continue to avoid under-wire bra's for a couple more months.  I'd gained a lot more confidence in my appearance, my main complaint being that I’d spent a fortune over the last 2 years on clothes and bra's that no longer fitted! 

Sunday (5 months after BA)
It was becoming hard to remember that I had implants, I hade got used to the feel and size of my enhanced boobs, family and friends no longer stared or commented about them, and my wardrobe was all changed over. 

I had a check-up two months after the sutures were removed and the surgeon was very happy about everything.  Unless some problem develops my next check-up wouldn't be until the one year mark.


6 Months After:  Full C cup. The areolae have stretched nicely, the breasts are equal size, and the scars (at the bottom curvature) are barely visible from this angle.

My breast tissue and skin had continued to stretch and sag and the appearance and fall of the breasts had greatly improved over the last few months.  Their softness and "squishiness" is natural to the touch, but I still had to massage them at least once a day to help prevent capsulation.  The scars had faded considerably, but being realistic I expected them to remain an obvious sign that I have had implants, and that's the one thing I was unhappy about.

There was no longer any restrictions on what bra's I can wear but for my own comfort and convenience I found that wearing a suitable bra was far more essential than it was before my breast augmentation, and began to often wear a soft bra in bed.

Saturday (7 months after BA)
My breasts had had an unexpected burst of growth over the last couple of months.  Some of my 38C bra's had become very tight and I began changing over to 38D's.  As a precaution I had a check-up at the clinic, but after an examination was assured that there was no problem with the implants or their position.  The new breast growth is undoubtedly due to me having an orchiectomy a few months ago, but I also wonder if changing my oestrogen therapy from Ethinyl Estradiol (which I used for many years) to Conjugated Estrogen (Premarin) may have played an important part.  

Friday (10 months after BA)
Time for a final summing up.... 

I'm assured and believe that the augmentation is a great success, the overall appearance of my breasts is very good and thankfully there have been no complications so far.

But am I glad I had breast augmentation?  Well on the plus side Martin loves them and still tells me that almost every day or night, but with the benefit of 20-20 hindsight my own answer is no - I wish that we had saved the money.  Firstly I remain very conscious of the give-away scars, even though these are rarely seen.  Secondly, and perhaps most importantly of all, I'm not completely satisfied about my appearance - it's certainly not entirely the surgeons fault but I've gone from being slightly flat chest'ed to being rather more "top heavy" than I had expected or perhaps suits me.  Also, I got fed-up with the discomfort, expense and hassle caused by what was until recently an ever changing bust size and shape.  At the very least I wish that I had delayed any breast augmentation until after my orchiectomy, I could then have have chosen smaller implants after my boobs settled again, although back in January it was still far from certain when I would have my orchiectomy or SRS.  Finally, while breast augmentation may not in the end have totally suited me, I still completely agree that it is an invaluable aid for many women - both transsexual and non-transsexual.

Thursday (1 year after BA)
I've just returned from having a breast examination by Dr D himself at ACI's Dublin clinic, although not mandatory such examinations are recommended annually after augmentation surgery.  Everything was fine, although Dr D suggested that in future I have a mammogram just prior to my annual breast check-up.  Unfortunately I will have to pay for this myself (currently €125 at the BlackRock Clinic) as there's little chance of me being a GP's referral, and the Irish health boards free "BreastCheck" programme is only offered to women over 50.

As an addendum to the previous entry, I must admit that I've now become rather more favourably inclined towards my generous buxom.  My bra size seems to have finally settled on a 38D - thanks in part I fear to gaining a few pounds and some sagging.  It was amazing to compare a current bra with an old 36A found hidden in my wardrobe.  When a low cut top or dress is appropriate, it's hard to not be flattered by obvious checkouts by men, whilst secretly enjoying being better endowed than many other women in the room.  Ohh dear - vanity, all is vanity.

Monday (2 years after BA)
19 Jan 2004!  I've just booked my annual check up at the clinic for next week.  I asked about  getting a mammogram done first - but a rather confused receptionist told me no need as I had had one last year and I'm under 45 (by a long way thank you!).  Probably Dr D's advice overrides this, but I've had no problems and can't really spare the money at the moment. As for the boobs, well I'm used to them and it would now be very weird to be any different.

 


PE02072A.gif (2034 bytes) Back to Articles


Please send any comments, feedback or additions to the Webmaster.
Copyright (c) 2004, Annie Richards

Last updated: 19 January, 2004