In just a handful of days I will be packing my bags, taking a taxi to the airport and catching a flight to Turkey to be transformed into a new woman following the removal and replacement of my current 7yr-old breast implants.
I plan on keeping an open and honest diary of my surgery here, along with my aftercare and healing in the hope of educating and informing others on the importance of safe surgery and exceptional aftercare. Should you have any questions, thoughts, feelings or concerns you can leave them in the comment box below for me and I will endeavour to answer them all…
I am 31yrs old, a professional vegan bodybuilder, personal trainer, nutrition advisor, social influencer and a single-parent to my two wonderful children; my daughter Millisent is 11yrs old and my son Gabriele is 7yrs. I also have three dogs, two cats and two rabbits so it’s safe to say that I have a very busy and fulfilling life!
I attend the gym 6-7x per week, cook every meal for my family from scratch and lead a very healthy active lifestyle, packing in study courses and further education where possible to further progress my career.
As a previous victim of bullying throughout my youth, a victim of domestic abuse and currently being involved in the worlds largest medical negligence case (because of previous PIP implant breast surgery) I have finally found my voice, strength, confidence and self-worth as a working mother of two and regularly support charities, speak about health topics in the media and write for fitness publications worldwide. In sharing our personal experiences and understanding with the world I firmly believe that we can help others to better help themselves.
My Previous Surgeries
I am soon to be 32yrs old and in total I have had eight cosmetic surgeries costing around £56,000 with my impending breast surgery in Turkey being my ninth. I’ve also had botox, fillers and aesthetic treatments over the past few years totalling around £10,000.
My previous surgeries include:
2x laser eye surgeries – Milton Keynes, UK (aged 24yrs)
1x labiaplasty – Harley Street, London, UK (aged 30yrs)
1x rhinoplasty – Marbella, Spain (aged 31yrs)
1x breast augmentation – Harley Street, London, UK (aged 18yrs)
1x breast implant removal & replacement – Herefordshire, UK (aged 25yrs)
1x breast reconstruction – Herefordshire, UK (aged 25yrs)
1x supercharged bbl – Marbella, Spain (aged 31yrs)
The first time that I had breast surgery was at the ripe old age of 18yrs. I worked multiple jobs whilst studying in order to pay for it by myself for the hefty price tag of £4,000.00 in 2006 – the equivalent of £5,739.84 in todays money with inflation. I had my high end surgery in London with a top surgeon who had filmed for primetime makeover TV shows and I loved my results.
Fast forward several years and two pregnancies later and my breasts began to leak during my pregnancy with my son. With a tummy the size of a small whale I would have expected my breasts to leak milk perhaps, not a hole in my chest to split open and drip clear fluid which turned out to be silicone. My implants had ruptured and there was nothing I could do about it until I gave birth! It turns out that my breast implants were PIP which were made from a non-medical grade silicone and is the biggest health scandal in the world affecting 400,000 women from almost every country. The legal battle is still ongoing some 14yrs later and is currently in the high courts in Paris.
It was a very scary time for me, incredibly painful and cost me my family life as I unwillingly become a single parent to my two children at the age of twenty five, my young daughter by my side and my baby crying for his mummy as I was rushing into surgery for an emergency breast implant removal, replacement and reconstruction. Not everybody can cope with the inconvenience of pain and suffering, but I picked myself up, dusted myself down, healed from my reconstruction and got on with my life giving my children my all.
Almost seven years on again, this time I am happy to say that my impending third set of breast implants (fourth breast surgery including the reconstruction) is my choice this time. Not an emergency against my free will, not to save my life, but to instead express my freedom of choice and change.
As a victim of surgical medical negligence I haven’t been put off of having further surgery, if anything I find it more important than ever to share my story and help others to make safer and more informed choices to avoid unnecessary pain and suffering through poor practise, inadequate products and botched surgeries.
What Are PIP Breast Implants?
Thankfully PIP breast implants have now been removed from the market, however they were used in both private surgery and NHS surgeries worldwide up until recently – many women do not realise they even have them until something goes wrong.
PIP breast implants are a ticking time bomb of industrial chemicals which were deceptively classified as medical silicone purely for financial gain.
If you think that your breast implants may be PIP, or if you’ve had symptoms or hardening, shrinking, leaking, hot and painful breast implants then contact your surgeon or consult a doctor. As I had my surgery 14yrs ago my surgeon had since retired and the hospital was converted into a nursing home so I had nobody that I could turn to for answers or support.
Upon the private removal of my ruptured implants at the Nuffield Health hospital in Herefordshire, UK it was discovered that they were PIP and from there my legal proceedings began. I am registered with PIPA who are still seeking and taking on the proceedings for victims of PIP to bring about justice and compensation for this terrible crime.
In 2010, The French Health Agency AFFSAPPS uncovers that the breast implants made by the company Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP), which has been certified and sold since 2001 in 65 countries (400 000 carriers) are filled with a fake silicone gel. The agency ordered their withdrawal from the market.
PIPA, an international group of lawyer partners specialized in litigation, they are the first to engage procedures for the insemination of the carriers of the PIP Implants in France.
Since 2010, this “task force” represents and defends more than 15.000 carriers of the PIP implants on 5 continents and has obtained in 2017 the conviction of the certifying body TUV RHEINLAND, which had to compensate its clients with almost 60 million euros.
In 2019, the battle continues, more than ever…
For more information, to register yourself as a victim or to provide advice for friends and family who you think may still have PIP breast implants you can visit the legal teams website here www.pipaworld.com.
Why I Want To Have Surgery
Perhaps the most asked question that I’ve had since announcing my surgery is “But what’s wrong with the ones you’ve already got?” Nothing is wrong with them. Nor should it have to be in order for us to want to change something. We shouldn’t wait until something is broken before we fix it, if it’s something we hadn’t wanted for a while and had already chosen otherwise then we should be able to make choices as and when it suits us.
Do we wait for our shoes to fall apart and leak every time that it rains before we treat ourselves to a new pair? Actually, a rather practical person may, but I don’t! If I happen to see something that I like I either choose to get it or don’t and then I move on. It can be the same thought process for surgery although I appreciate it’s far more involved than this.
I decided around three years ago, whilst being very happy with my current breast implants, that I might like to change the shape and size of my implants as all implants are made differently. Some are wide and somewhat flat whilst others can be more round and protruding – it’s like finding the perfect cocktail dress, there are so many styles to choose from and we all have individual needs.
Whilst I got my current breast implants several years ago, my preferences and lifestyle were somewhat different in my twenties to what they are now in my thirties, it’s the natural progression in life to change and grow. I have been blonde for the majority of my life but recently changed my hair colour to a redhead and I love it a million times more – I wish I’d done it years ago!
I feel that there is a very negative connotation associated with plastic surgery, and clearly everybody’s intentions for wanting to change something about themselves will be very different. Whilst I can’t speak for others on this matter, I can speak wholeheartedly for myself. I am not trying to change my body to fix my self confidence, I do not feel ugly, unattractive, less of a person or unhappy with the skin that I am in. I do not lose sleep over my breasts nor avoid or feel saddened by them. I do not want to change them to better my life. I want to change my breast implants because I have the choice and freedom to do so.
Breast implants are said to last a lifetime, however long that may be, but on average women choose to make changes every several years as their bodies age, fashions change and needs adjust. Perhaps after having children and breastfeeding a womans breasts may droop, lose volume, shrink in size or become heavy and painful. For that matter a revision surgery can uplift, increase or decrease the size of implant, reconstruct, adjust the nipple height or take the implants out entirely and go back to natural. There are many different reasons to have multiple breast surgeries which you can choose to do with time, or happily keep them as they are.
Personally my natural breasts were asymmetrical, which is common and nothing to be ashamed of. I felt that being flat chested with one breast being an A-cup and the other being a B-cup, my nipples at varying heights by almost a couple of inches and pointing outwards (east and west) instead of forwards, having cosmetic surgery was a way to correct this natural asymmetry and allow me to have a bust size that could comfortably fit both of my breasts in the same bra at once without one side being too low and loose and the other being too high and tight.
As you’re aware, the breast implants I had as a teenager were PIP and ruptured leaving me with two further surgeries to remove, replace and repair the damage which brings me to today. I am very happy with my breasts, but I could make changes. These changes my be unnoticeable to others, but mean something to me. If I never have another surgery, nor change my breasts ever again I can live quite happily with what I have.
However, I am in a position to make changes, I have thought about this for some years and the time is right in my life to book a few weeks out of work, make the surgical tweaks that I would like to do to my breasts, heal and then carry on living the life that I love.
The main points I would like to address during this breast surgery are:
– The spacing of my breasts – I would like to reduce the gap between my breasts with a wider implant
–The size of my breasts – as I am now a professional bodybuilder my legs, arms and back muscles are bigger and stronger from training than they were before which makes my breasts feel smaller. I would like to go up by 1 or 2 cup sizes.
–The position of my breasts – after breastfeeding my two babies, and with age, the skin on my breasts has stretched and is looser than before having children. My breast implants sit an inch or so lower than when I first got them so I would like to discuss if I could benefit from having an uplift or if a larger implant will fill this loose skin.
Why I Chose Turkey For Surgery
I think it’s safe to say that the location of surgery makes very little difference to the outcome of results – it is the individual skillset of the surgeon, the quality and longevity of the products used and the practical consideration of your recovery post-surgery that is solely responsible for the final results. Whether Surgeon John Smith operated on me in London, Beijing or Miami my results would be exactly the same because he has performed it. For this reason I am happy to look further afield, beyond the UK, to find a highly skilled surgeon suitable for my needs.
I have previously had two of my eight surgeries abroad in Marbella, Spain and am absolutely thrilled with the results. I recovered in 5* luxury and had medical staff assisting me the entire week of my recovery before flying home well rested and relaxed.
Whereas when I have had surgery in England I get released from the hospital the following day and left to my own accord to return home, trying to tend to my children with no medical support or daily check-in with my surgeon. It is very much a hands-off approach in comparison to surgery and aftercare abroad.
Most people fear that something may go wrong when they return home after surgery abroad, which means their surgeon is unreachable and they are unable to return for further treatment; when the reality of it for me has been exceptional aftercare for a week post-surgery to monitor pain relief, antibiotics and ensure meticulous cleanliness of the wounds and dressings that I would have had to otherwise struggle with alone at home by myself. It’s great if you live with a partner or have friends and family nearby who can help, but I’d rather have trained doctors, nurses and my own surgeon at hand to support my recover so that no complications can arise in the first place rather than returning home the day after surgery, injuring myself or catching an infection and having to go back for further treatment.
Therefore I find surgery abroad to be safer, the aftercare incredible and my experience stress free as I return home to my family happy and rested afterwards. As with any big decision that you make in life it is always worthwhile to draw up a list of pro’s and con’s and decide which option better suits your needs; what works perfectly for one person may be entirely unsuitable for another.
This is just a brief list of the pro’s and con’s that I have experienced of having surgery both home and abroad. Whilst the thought of travelling to a foreign country for surgery when you might not speak the language may be daunting, the reality is far more pleasant and accommodating. I have never encountered a surgeon or medical staff at a hospital who couldn’t speak English.
The cost of land in England is far greater than that abroad, the staff wages are higher as well as equipment and running costs. Many highly skilled surgeons based in England arrange world tours where they travel to other countries and take bookings in private hospitals for several weeks at a time to treat patients as they realise not all patients wish to travel; this is also very common for tattoo artists, singers, actors and businessmen.
Whilst many hospitals in England may be old and understaffed because of their high costs, abroad you can utilise a newly built state-of-the-art medical facility with many highly skilled staff and shorter waiting times by seeking surgery outside of the UK.
Just as I’ve been on holiday to various destinations around Europe because it is close to the UK and more affordable for short-haul flights, I’ve come to realise that flying long-haul may cost a lot more and take longer to reach but the affordability once you’re there, 5* luxury and immaculate hospitality is world class and far exceeds anything I have ever experienced in European hotels. The same can be said for surgery.
I understand that people may fear the safety guidelines, hygiene rules and medical regulations may differ abroad from what we are used to in the UK, however I ensure I only go to the finest surgeons at exceptionally high standards hospitals and throughly conduct my research first. Just as buying a car, going to a restaurant or choosing a pet there will be good and bad examples and options to choose from – this remains the same worldwide. You can buy cheap and cut corners taking unnecessary risks or you can pay the utmost maximum and over the odds to receive nothing more for your money than the standard average.
It is all about doing your research, understanding your needs, planning a safe recovery and weighing up the pro’s and con’s for what works best for you.
How To Find A Safe Surgeon
I have had five different surgeons in total for my eight different surgeries, I may be stating the obvious here, but every surgeon can perform almost any plastic surgery that you request. The key is in finding a surgeon who specialises in the type of surgery that you require because they will have far more experience than others in the field.
It could be the difference between a surgeon who operates on breasts once every few months between specialising in facial reconstruction, and a surgeon who operates on breasts several times a week with a rhinoplasty or tummy tuck thrown in once every few months. Essentially the more hours spent performing the surgery you’re looking to have the higher their skillset will be – but of course the results will speak for themselves.
I found my surgeon via social media in this instance, as it is commonplace to utilise social media platforms as a form of advertising to the public, connecting with potential clients and showcasing the results of previous patients.
I first came in contact with Medicci Aesthetics on Instagram whilst looking to have botox and dermal fillers in London and found their services and results to be exceptional. In conversation with a member of staff I happened to mentioned that I was thinking of having another breast surgery for which they informed me of their affiliation with a surgeon, Dr Serbulent Guzey in Turkey.
Thanking them for their recommendation, I returned home from my aesthetics appointment with food for thought and began my research into the surgeon they had recommended for my needs. The beauty of social media in 2019 is that skilled surgeons can showcase their skills with real patients detailing real results making it more difficult than ever to hide botched surgeries and poor practise thanks to likes, comments, reviews and patient feedback online – an essential research tool that wasn’t around when I had my first surgery aged 18.
It is reassuring to know that a well respected and professional London clinic has referred me to this surgeon as they have built a strong and successful relationship with him and have assisted in accommodating many patients from the UK to Istanbul in Turkey for 5* surgery, aftercare and optimum recovery.
Just as you may take a picture of a celebrity to your hairdresser for reference of the type of hair style you require, seeing previous patients before and after photos are essential to understanding the skills and capability of a potential surgeon for your needs.
It’s important to understand that we are all unique, individual and very different and results may vary from person to person. Whilst you can use a previous patients case for reference of the results that you would like to achieve yourself, needless to say, performing breast surgery on a flat chested 18yr old versus breast surgery on a thirty-something mother-of-two after breastfeeding is two vary different cases.
I am confident that my surgeon Dr Serbulent Guzey, who is a Member Of The International Society Of Plastic Surgery, is the right surgeon for my needs. After having already provided pictures and details about my current breast implants and needs, I will meet with Dr Guzey the day before my surgery when I arrive in Turkey, have a medical examination and discuss first-hand the exact processes and implants to be used in order to achieve the best results for the look that I require.
As with any surgery, it’s important to give yourself time to consider if it is right for you. It’s perfectly normal to be excited before feeling scared, to decide on one thing and then later want to change your mind at the last minute. Any big decision deserves time and consideration, if you find yourself having doubts or feeling particularly nervous prior to surgery I would suggest arranging a meeting with your surgeon to discuss your needs with the potential to postpone or cancel any surgery you have booked.
It’s important to be fully informed and understand the processes involved, you should never be afraid to ask questions about anything and everything to feel confident that it is right for you.
Choosing the correct size of implant is a variable that you may have conflicting feelings about. It can be tempting to go from flat-chested to busty in the blink of an eye, but after recovery the reality may be inconvenient if you’re left with breasts that are bigger and heavier than what you’re used to.
Surgeons will usually make a recommendation as to what size implant they feel will naturally suit your body type based on your weight and height as they try to avoid patients having something unsuitable and later requiring a reversal or implant exchange. It is common to go up by a couple of cup-sizes per surgery which also allows for the skin to accommodate the greater size.
For my first surgery I went from my natural 30A/B at 5ft8″ weighing 8stone / 51kg at the age of 18 to a busty 30DD at 9stone / 57kg at the age of 25 taking me to a 30FF, since becoming a bodybuilder and increasing my muscle mass, which has made me heavier and my frame larger, I now weigh 9.4stone / 60kg with a 30/32 chest and would like to increase to an I/H cup size which I realise will be more obviously busty and full on my lean frame.
Whilst my previous surgeries were based upon what looks natural and normal for my body, age, height and weight, at this stage in life I would like to purposely look top-heavy for the results that I desire. I fully recognise that this may be the opposite of what other patients desire, it’s simply a case of each to their own.
I have seen many stories of ladies suffering with heavy breasts and developing back and postural problems, however through bodybuilding I have built a strong muscle foundation and have never had problems with my already large and heavy breast implants.
I would recommend road-testing implants before you decide on the size that is most suitable for you, as hopefully once you’ve got them you’ll be living with them for a very long time. Taking a sports bra you can add socks for volume to see how larger breasts would look beneath clothing, as well as bags of rice to test if the weight is manageable. It may sound bizarre at first, but trialling a size and weight across several days gives you more of an understanding of how your daily activity will alter post-surgery. When I got my first set of breast implants I constantly knocked them on things such as door frames and elbows because of the difference in my spacial awareness. Going both up and down a cup size around that which you think you’d like can give you a good perspective on whether it may be too much or not enough.
There is also the decision of placing the implant beneath or on top of the muscle which again will create different results. I have always had my breast implants on top of the muscle because my first surgeon, who planned to and recommended that I have it beneath the muscle, told me that when he opened me up my chest muscles were too tight for the size of implant that I was having, so during the surgery he decided to put my implants on top of the muscle.
Putting the breast implants beneath your muscle creates a more natural result as the breast implant pushes your natural breast tissue forward so they look and feel more real, meaning that it is less obvious that you’ve had surgery. However putting the implant on top of the muscle creates a fuller looking breast, more rounded and suitable for fitness purposes as the implants will not restrict the chest muscles from being trained.
However, putting the implant on top of the muscle means that it is more prone to dropping and drooping with time and may not stay as pert as an implant tucked into place beneath the muscle. There are pro’s and con’s for each option and you can switch from one to the other with further surgery but may have loose skin to consider – I will be having my new implants on top of the muscle once more because this allows me to continue bodybuilding.
Either way the decision to have surgery is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You should always ask yourself why you want surgery, what you expect to get out of it and consider how it will affect your life afterwards. If you’re looking to surgery to make yourself happy, perfect or more attractive then recognise you must learn to love yourself first for who you are and try every other option available to you before choosing something as permanent as surgery.
If you want to have larger breasts through surgery perhaps try out a push-up bra, bra inserts which can be removed, breast tape to reposition loose skin or even alter your diet and fitness to tighten, tone and develop breast tissue. Surgery doesn’t fix your problems and make your life better, that’s something you have to do by yourself; however it can enhance natural beauty and give you the shape and size you prefer which Mother Nature can’t.
The majority of people turn to surgery to lose weight and have larger breasts, but seeing as I’m tall, slim and muscular I’ve used surgery to give my body curves in places where I’m naturally flat and shapeless.
The Countdown Begins!
It is now just over two weeks until I travel to Turkey for my surgery, I have purchased my flight tickets and Medicci Aesthetics have arranged everything else on my behalf from my airport transfers in Turkey to my surgery, accommodation, aftercare appointments and return transfer to the airport post-surgery which has totally taken the stress and planning out of travelling as I know I’m in safe hands.
Seeing as I’ll be travelling alone to Turkey I will be taking just a holdall bag on wheels to keep with me on the flight, instead of stowing a suitcase, as I plan on being in bed resting up for the majority of my stay anyway and all medical gowns, surgical stockings and dressings are provided by the hospital. Netflix binge and studying for my exams imminent!
I’m just packing some loose tops and leggings to wear for the flight home along with some makeup which is limited to what can fit into those clear plastic bags at security, my laptop, phone, toothbrush, chargers and a camera to keep a video diary.
I’m always super excited when I know that I’ll be having surgery as it’s something that I’ve chosen to do, rather than being scared or nervous about it like if I’d had an accident or injury and needed treatment. I think I’ve been around hospitals and needles so much that hardly anything freaks me out anymore. Whilst I don’t exactly enjoy having blood taken I don’t mind it, and oddly enough I actually look forward to resting in my hospital bed, having the best sleep of my life from the anaesthetic and knowing that nurses will wait on me 24/7 dressing me, cleaning me, bringing me food and medication. It’s literally the only time when I can drop everything and do nothing but rest and relax.
In the meantime I’m working hard, gymming daily, spending quality time with my children and preparing myself for a six week recovery of taking things super easy and adapting my everyday routine to avoid lifting my arms or holding any weight – housework is going to be so fun! I’d best put aside extra pocket money to reward the children for being my special helpers! “Who wan’t to help Mummy to wash her hair today!?”
Since announcing on my social media that I’ll be having breast surgery shortly, I received a message asking me if I’m scared that I’ll get addicted to plastic surgery like the glamour model Katie Price which I found rather offensive and had to chose the words for my response very carefully!
In this day and age that we live in, people in the public eye feel so negatively judged and criticised constantly by strangers online who think that it’s ok to slate a persons appearance because they’re famous and should expect it as part of their job – this leads to crippling mental health issues and suicide. I will never accept people criticising others because to me that is bullying. Whilst I may have had more surgery than the average person, I don’t believe that I’m unrecognisable or a different person because of it, most of my surgeries have been totally undetectable, subtle and natural in results and this breast surgery will be the most obvious and eye-catching by far, but I’m ok with that and thankful for my thick skin to not allow trolls to get to me.
I’m thankful that I have body confidence and self esteem after having my two children and finally feel comfortable in my own skin when I spent my youth never feeling good enough and being used and mistreated by others. I’m excited to make my breasts larger and surgically enhanced in appearance I do so from a place of peace, happiness, confidence and positivity, not because I’m sad, unhappy or want to please others by changing my faults and flaws. My choice is my own, this surgery is for me and I do not judge myself based on the opinions of others nor put myself in competition with other women and their ideals – each to their own.
We are all individuals, we come in all different shapes and sizes and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What will please and earn respect from one person will offend and bring hate from another person – so we should never try to please others, but instead live our life doing what makes us truly happy and brings us the most joy and peace. I just so happen to be a fan of a fuller breast.
I feel the need to justify my choices when I really shouldn’t have to, but just as I doubt I’d ever be in a position to become addicted to buying Roll Royce’s and mansions that I don’t need, I highly doubt I’d ever be in a position to become addicted to surgery, firstly for the cost and secondly because I can’t actually think of anything else that I would want to have done. The closest I’ve ever come to having an addiction was probably experimenting with hair colours in my teens before settling on being a blonde… how boring! Perhaps having tattoos counts instead!?
UPDATE: 12/09/19 – 16 Days Until Surgery
Today I went for a weigh-in at my local pharmacy to check my pre-surgery bodyfat as I know that I’ll need to have bodyfat transfer to the top of my breast implants to make them sit smoothly as I have no natural breast tissue of my own.
In preparation for this I have been overeating at meal times by having larger portions of food and snacking between meals to increase my calorie intake and hopefully up m bodyfat – something that I would usually spend literally everyday trying to do the opposite! I think it’s safe to say that it has never been one of my gym goals to put on bodyfat!
Despite overeating my bodyfat is now at 18.7% for which I have 12.3kg. This brings me above the excellent range of 22.2% which means that I need to try even harder to gain bodyfat before surgery as the average percentage is 30.1%
Considering my lifestyle is based upon a vegan diet and daily exercise I enjoy bodybuilding, keeping active and eating fresh home cooked meals – overeating and bingeing on junk isn’t as fun or as much of a treat as I thought it might be, as it makes me feel sickly from sugar and bloated from eating so much.
But I know that it’s for the greater good to achieve the best results possible and I will continue to up my calories as I’m also snacking on vegan chocolate and peanuts – both of which are high in fat.
Knowing that I won’t be able to workout for 6 weeks post-surgery means that my diet will have to switch once again after surgery, this time from reducing from overeating to consuming less calories than usual to account for the lack of exercise. Recovery and aftercare is just as important as the surgery itself in order to achieve the best results possible, I’m looking forward to the challenge of readjusting my lifestyle to suit my healing and assist in a healthy recovery to return to bodybuilding with my ideal breasts!
UPDATE: 18/09/19 – 10 Days Until Surgery
This week has literally flown by so fast, I can’t believe how quickly the days are passing now, so I thought it would be a good idea to post a little update about my thoughts and lifestyle leading up to surgery.
I have been overeating like a fool! Literally stuffing my face at every given opportunity day and night. Being vegan I love fruit and vegetables anyway which is always going to be pretty healthy – so I’ve increased my portion sizes at meal times adding an extra scoop or two per serving, I snack constantly between meals and instead of training seven days a week at the gym with heavy weight sessions I actually haven’t been once this week so far!
The last time that I trained I didn’t lift heavy to burn bodyfat or lose weight, I didn’t do any cardio, I just trained my abs and toned my arms and didn’t break a sweat – it seems like such a waste of effort, but I know that it’s all for a good cause to be fully prepared for surgery, and actually we could all do with a break from routine every now and then to relax and unwind.
Being a fitness fanatic I’ve always been cautious of the food I eat – I’m also wheat and dairy intolerant and have IBS – so I check the food that I have is safe for my intolerances, fresh and nutritious, using daily fitness as a way to burn calories and lower bodyfat so that I can eat what I like when I like by ensuring I’m keeping active enough to not gain weight.
Now that I’m overeating and not exercising at all I was fully expecting to blow up like a balloon, look and feel chubby and feel a little sad about destroying the body that I’ve worked so hard to achieve by losing abs and definition to squishy skin – something I’ve worked so hard to combat after having two children.
In fact, it’s been quite the opposite – I’m eating like it’s the end of the world and my body is hardly changing, despite thousands of extra calories and the least exercise I’ve ever done I’m still in pretty alright shape – proof that having a treat or a cheat day each week really won’t undo all of your hard work, and a little (or a lot in my case) of what you fancy does you a world of good! I feel more relaxed about calories now and don’t feel the need to feel guilty if I have an ice cream or my favourite vegan chocolates because it all falls into balance and doesn’t have to be a negative experience or failure of good health, it’s simply a reward for working hard and I’m really enjoying it.
I’ll try to go for another BMI check right before I leave for Turkey next week to see how my body has changed for fat percentages, as by these pictures I basically look and feel the same but know that it can’t be possible as I’m consuming around 1000-1500 more calories each day everyday so I will definitely put on weight!
A lady posted a comment / question about surgical anaesthetic on my surgery diary on Youtube (My Breast Surgery Abroad Part 1 which is at the top of this blog) and I thought I might share my response here just incase it’s something that other people may be concerned about:
Her comment: “Thanks so much for posting this, girl! Very informative. I’m such a huge fan of yours! I’m actually getting surgery soon, too. I am wondering if you could explain more about what it was like to get put to sleep? This is the part that freaks me out!! Like, what does it feel like? How do they do it? What does it feel like when they put the stuff in, like do you get sleepy or is more like wide awake to instantly out? Could you have stayed awake if you would have tried or is it impossible? Haha. Basically whatever you remember about that part would be helpful. Thanks so much!”
My response: “Thank you, I’m glad that you’ve found this helpful. General anaesthetic is nothing to worry about, I know that it’s not something that happens to us often so the thought of it can be scary. It’s such a quick and painless thing that literally takes seconds to happen.
Depending on how you feel leading up to surgery changes how long they keep you awake for. Seeing as I’m very upbeat and at ease in hospitals I’m happy to be put under at the last minute in the theatre as they’re ready to begin, sometimes walking from my hospital bed and climbing onto the table into place myself before being put under, other times you can be put under in your bed and they lift you into position when you’re already asleep.
The sensation of being put under is the same everytime for me so I’m guessing it’s the same for everyone else too – first you have fluid put into the tube already in your wrist/hand which feels cold as it travels up your arm, then you get a metallic taste at the back of your throat a second or so later as if you have a penny in your mouth and then you feel your eyelids get real heavy and you just fall fast asleep.
Nothing you can do can keep you awake, your body just relaxes and you have no control, a bit like fainting it just happens. Sometimes I’m still speaking to the staff saying how excited I am, other times they ask you to count down from ten and I think I get to around 5 or 6 before I’m out, you know you’re really relaxed and sleepy but you don’t acknowledge that you’re actually asleep because you’re already unconscious.
The next thing you know you’ve woken up from the most awesome snooze and it’s all over, you’re tucked up safe in your hospital room and have pain killers and don’t feel a thing. It’s just warm and safe and cosy and nurses come to check on you and help with whatever you need. I usually tell my family to come and see me the day after my surgery if they want to, as you basically fall asleep all day after having surgery because the anaesthetic leaves you super relaxed which is perfect for recovery but makes you yawn and super tired if you try to talk or do anything for the first day. I hope this helps and I wish you all the best for your surgery x x x x“
I’m feeling super excited, tying up loose ends at home, confirming childcare, making sure the pets are taken care of and getting ready to pack my small carry-on case for the plane. Seeing as I’ll have surgical stockings, a waist-shaper (if I have enough bodyfat for liposuction) and a bra with bandages, I’ll pretty much have my entire body covered by surgical garments. I’m thinking I’ll a couple maxi skirts to cover my surgical stockings and vest tops that can be easily taken off along with some loose fitting maxi dresses for when I want to get out and about. 9 days and counting…Whoop!
UPDATE: 23/09/19 – 5 Days Until Surgery
It’s the week of my surgery now and the final countdown begins. I’ve overeaten so much recently I’m actually looking forward to fasting for surgery and not being able to eat or drink anything beforehand just to stop feeling so bloated and blah.
I guess it’s like being on holiday – you get into great shape before you go so that you can look your best in swimwear, but when you’re there you eat and drink so much you return home far heavier than before you went and have to hide the bloat and excess pounds under baggy clothes until you lose your tan!
I picked up the final few bits for my trip today, a few toiletries, travel money and then spotted a holdall trolley which I’ve not heard of before. I already have carry holdalls and wheel cases, but this is a cross between the two. It can be carried as a bag or wheeled as a case which seemed like a good idea at the time!
Seeing as I’m only taking a holdall on my flight I have just a few things with me, some foundation and a toothbrush, a couple of ankle length skirts, some leggings and a few tops – literally my bag will be filled by my camera equipment, laptop and chargers so that I can blog and keep my video diary whilst I’m out there.
It’s actually been really hard for me to overeat, which sounds bizarre as surely it’s everyones dream to be able to stuff their face without worrying about putting on weight or counting calories. But I’m so used to being fit, active and healthy and skipping the gym, overeating and bingeing on (vegan) junk food has left me bloated, unmotivated and tired – I just want to lay on my sofa and Netflix and chill 24/7! I’m already counting the days until I recover and can get back to lifting heavy!
In the 11 days that have passed between my two bodyfat check-in’s I’ve managed to gain almost 3kg of body fat, which is about half a stone – wow! I’m still wearing my size UK8 clothes but my belly feels really squishy and bloated instead of tight and hard like usual. I’m no longer weight training or bodybuilding as I want to maintain my bodyfat for fat transfer during my surgery, but from now on I’ll no longer overeat or try lose weight, I’ll just maintain the size that I am by eating normally again. Woohoo for fresh home cooked food and plenty of water!
Finally, I stopped off at the currency exchange to pick up some cash for my trip. Seeing as all of my transfers and accommodation are already taken care of I wanted to have some cash to hand to grab a green tea and buy some gifts for my family back home – obviously after I’ve had surgery and can get out and about again.
I thought £100.00 would be enough to get some bits and if I need more once I’m there then I can get some more changed over. The lady at the currency exchange told me she went to Turkey last year and it’s super affordable, my £100 gave me ₺650 Turkish lira – thats six and a half times as much as the pound. She thinks this will last me pretty well and said that she’s planning on going again next year just for the shopping. If I wasn’t travelling alone I’d have taken an empty suitcase and gone on a Christmas present spree, but seeing as I can’t carry anything after surgery I’ll stick to my little wheelie case to be safe.
I’m feeling super excited, positive and inquisitive about getting to Turkey this weekend, deciding on an implant size and seeing my surgery take place as the clinic have confirmed that they will film the procedure for me so that I can watch it back afterwards! I’m hoping that with some carefully placed nipple tape I can use some of the footage of my surgery in my video diary to show first hand how implant exchange and enlargement takes place. I find it so fascinating so I’m guessing others may too…
UPDATE: 27/09/19 Arriving In Turkey
The day has finally come! My bags are packed, I took a taxi to the airport this morning and I’ve now touched down in Turkey – hoorah! Today has been an absolute breeze, from setting off at Heathrow Terminal 2 with a vegan cookie and green tea to having a relaxing flight with Turkish Airlines and being collected from the airport and chauffeur driven to my stunning hotel in style.
I’m presently curled up on the sofa in the lounge of my very luxurious hotel suite having just devoured my room service which was served to me on a silver platter – what a lucky girl I am! The service has been exceptional, from start to finish everything has been taken care of for me and I’ve never been so chilled out and at ease about travelling or having a procedure. Surely there’s something I can prepare or organise! I’m so used to doing everything it’s quite curious to suddenly do nothing.
I have nothing that I have to do tonight other than relax, unwind, have a good nights sleep and avoid food and liquids after midnight like a fancy Cinderella. I have my alarm set for 8am tomorrow as I’m being collected at 08:45 so I just need to get up and take a shower (no breakfast) before I check out of my room and hop into an awaiting car at reception which will take me straight to the hospital.
I’ve just had a lovely video call to my family back in England and discovered that I’m two hours ahead in Turkey so I’m glad that I caught them before they had dinner. Now I’m going to watch some movies in bed before the big day ahead of me tomorrow, although actually I’ll be sleeping for most of it so I guess I can afford to stay up all night bingeing on my favourite boxsets.
I’m feeling so chilled out, excited and happy about the whole experience which has really put me at ease and I wish I could show others how relaxing and necessary it is to approach surgery in a calm and controlled manner like this, much like going on a health retreat or spa weekend – it’s a million times nicer than rushing about at home, stressing to get onto public transport to the hospital and returning home afterwards confused and clueless.
If there’s one thing that I could have people take away from this experience it is the attention to detail and aftercare, as the way that you are taken care of, rest and recovery after surgery has a massive impact on your results and greatly reduces, if not removes, all risk of infection and complications because medical professionals are on hand around the clock.
Most people, including myself in the past, have surgery and go home only to overdo it, pull stitches, not clean themselves properly, lift something too heavy or sleep funny and cause pressure to the stitches which massively impacts the surgeons hard work and can setback healing, if not cause complications which lead to needing further treatment.
The body is precious and needs to recover properly! You wouldn’t start washing dishes when you have freshly painted nails before they’ve set and can chip, nor go running out in the rain if you’ve just had your hair perfectly blowdried – if you want to heal perfectly after surgery then rest up and do nothing. I really cannot stress this enough, as I’ve seen so many stories online of people complaining about bad results by incredible surgeons simply because they’ve opted out of having aftercare and not healed as they should have.
I’ll be staying in Turkey for 4 days after my surgery which is enough to get me through the most vital part of my recovery and ensure that I’m not cooking, cleaning or picking up children which I would have done if I were at home. By day 10 I can drive again and in a couple of weeks it will be my birthday so I’m looking forward to lots of celebrations and welcoming my 32nd birthday with my new breasts.
Tomorrow when I arrive at the hospital I’ll have my pre-op checks, meet with Dr Serbulent and make a final decision on the size of implants that I want to have. At the moment I know that I want to go bigger, but the question is how big? I’m thinking a couple of sizes or so, but I won’t really know until I get to see firsthand what it will look like on me.
So here’s to a good nights sleep so that I’m fresh and rested for the morning; eeeeeeeeeeeek!! 🙂
UPDATE: 28/09/19 The Day Of My Surgery
Most children can’t sleep on Christmas Eve because they’re just too excited about Father Christmas coming in the morning, whilst most adults lose sleep over money troubles, stress and worrying about events and obstacles in life.
Last night I too lay wide awake clock watching the clock and unable to fall asleep because of my sheer excitement, enthusiasm and positivity for having surgery – something absolutely life-changing that happened to me today and will now affect the rest of my days because of it… My surgeon saved my life!
I maybe managed to get around three hours sleep last night, which on any normal day would have been catastrophic, yet knowing I was going to be put to sleep for surgery was actually reassuring because I knew that I would sleep incredibly well for the entire day after as I heal and recover.
I followed the same protocol for surgery as always, and as previously advised to me by the clinic, to stop eating and drinking after midnight and to remove all jewellery, piercings and nail varnish so that my vital signs could be measured accurately during anaesthesia. I got up, had a shower and walked down to the hotel reception from my suite where a member of staff from the clinic greeted me and took me across the road to the hospital – I couldn’t believe how close it is, how convenient!
She very kindly explained to me everything that the day would involved, answered any questions that I had and walked me through the paperwork so that I could confirm my consent and go over my medical history. The hospital is just as impressive as my hotel, bright, fresh, modern, impeccably clean with state-of-the-art technology.
Each member of staff is impeccably dressed, high professional and most of all warm, friendly and welcoming instantly putting me at ease and ensuring each process ran smoothly, handing me seamlessly between specialists for the checks and consents that I had to go through to prepare me to meet my surgeon.
With my paperwork complete I was shown to my own private hospital room which again was beautifully stylish, modern and not to mention huge! With flat screen TV’s – yes plural – a lounge area, en-suite and wardrobes to store my things bigger than my own at home, I was then given a medical gown, slippers and hairnet to change into. I had a blood sample taken to check my present health and to assess my blood quality and type incase of needing a transfusion. This test also serves to detect unknown pregnancies, diabetes and HIV to ensure every patient is safe before surgery.
Throughout the entire morning I was never left alone once, as a member of staff sat with me, talked me through each process and waited to hand me to the next member of the team. It felt so calm and relaxed, perfectly organised and very time efficient to ensure so much was covered in a relatively short space as time to allow for my surgery to take place without delay to the other patients.
Shortly after having all of my pre-surgery checks my surgeon Dr Serbulent came to see me and I couldn’t help but give him a hug. He and his team had taken such amazing care of me from the moment I booked to the moment I’m writing this now from my hospital bed after a very successful and life-changing surgery.
All of the stress, worry and concern have been totally taken away from having surgery as everything was organised on my behalf by professionals who do this everyday, are fantastic at their jobs which they love and have the most high-end facilities and equipment to work with; a million miles away from the chaos of the understaffed and underfunded NHS back in England.
Upon examining my breasts Dr Serbulent informed me that my right breast was encapsulated, which meant my bodys immune system had formed a hard shell around my implant to protect me, making it harden and shrink as it compressed the implant and changed its shape. I wasn’t previously aware of this, had had my implants for seven years now and thought for all intents and purposes that they were fine without any symptoms or discomfort, but to him it was instantly apparent.
We discussed my requirements to reduce the gap between my breasts as well as increase the size of my implants by around two to three sizes to fill up my loose skin, with a maximum of 1000cc implant being available. I wanted to discuss size and posture implications of having larger breasts as well as understand what implant my body was capable of sustaining due to my chest muscles duringbody building and the implants being placed above the muscle.
Scrolling through pictures I’d collected on my phone of the top-heavy fuller busts that I found of other patients Dr Serbulent was able to grasp the look that I wanted, and for that we are all different, have different structures, height and weight and want different results – some subtle and natural whilst others are large and obviously fake.
He advised that my chest muscles would determine the size and distance between my implants for which he would like to use an implant of around 800cc to achieve my desired look and would try to use the largest implant possible once surgery had begun and he knows what he is working with by testing the capability of my muscle.
He then proceeded to mark with a pen on my skin the height and position of my implants, ensuring they were even as well as examine my body for suitable areas of fat transfer. He spoke in perfect English, was polite, gentle, kind and incredibly patient – despite my knowing his busy schedule for the days patients ahead of him, he made me feel that he had all of the time in the world for me to truly listen to me and understand my needs, such a rare human quality that attributes to his success and high reputation in the medical industry.
As Dr Serbulent left to change into his surgical scrubs I had an IV line fitted to my hand for my aesthetic and was sized for my surgical stockings which help to support circulation during and after surgery. I was then invited to lay on a hospital bed where I was wheeled into theatre with cheerful staff beside me the whole time keeping me fully informed and expressing kind wishes. I didn’t stop smiling all morning from the moment I arrived to the second I was put to sleep – counting rather quickly up to 14 before the general anaesthetic led me into a beautifully deep sleep so that Dr Serbulent and his team could carry out my surgery.
The next thing that I knew I was snuggled up warm and cosy in my hospital bed back in my private suite. A little chilly still from surgery, a nurse brought me a second duvet to keep me warm as operating theatres have to be kept cold to reduce bacteria and prevent infection. So most patients wake up feeling chilly or shivering after surgery which is perfectly normal.
In total my surgery took 2.5hrs and surprisingly didn’t involve liposuction or fat transfer as Dr Serbulent was able to replace my implants seamlessly, informing me that from my previous breast reconstruction with fat transfer none of the fat grafts had survived. Perhaps because I bodybuild and have a low percentage of bodyfat all year round, my breasts are the area where fat dissolves from first? However the results of the surgery are perfect, even without fat transfer and I can return to weight training once healed without being concerned about losing excess bodyfat and exposing the edge of my implants because they’re already concealed without it.
Dr Serbulent informed me that he was able to use 825cc smooth breast implants which had made a great difference to the space between my breasts as they are now fuller, more round and closer together, appearing more natural instead of stuck on and disjointed like my previous implants which lost all body fat that would have concealed these issues.
I wasn’t expecting to hear the news that I was then given about my old implants, but in a split second it all made sense to me – the reason I’d been craving a change when others didn’t deem it necessary. I felt that breast surgery was something that I had to do, as if it were fate I couldn’t stop thinking about getting new implants. It turns out the implants my surgeon removed were Allergan, a brand that had been removed from the market as they are believed to have caused cancer in some patients as reported by the press.
Not only was I not aware of any symptoms or changes to my previous breast implants, but as a survivor of collapsing PIP implants just seven years ago I never thought in a million years that this could happen to me twice! I’ve had hardened lymph nodes for around four years now which has affected my immune system despite living a very healthy, clean and active vegan lifestyle – I have optimum health yet my doctors couldn’t diagnose what was triggering my immune system to stay on high alert – it turns out it was my silently hazardous textured replacement breast implants!
If I hadn’t have had them removed my health may have continued to deteriorate just as other patients who had developed cancer from these Allergan implants with many women having sadly lost their life to them. To hear this news was overwhelming, heartbreaking, shocking and yet incredibly reassuring at the same time. I strongly believe in fate and feel that a guardian angel as watching over me and brought me to Dr Serbulent to change my implants and restore my health. If I hadn’t have had them removed my health could have continued to deteriorate and my doctor would be none the wiser as to how to help me. Whilst cases of cancer in Allergen implants are rare, this wasn’t a risk that I would have chosen to take in having them; as patients it’s important that we are fully informed of all risks involved with whatever surgery we decide to have and to make an informed decision based on what we are prepared to allow.
Many women still have Allergen implants, just as I have for 7yrs now, some without symptoms, some that will never have a negative impact on their health. Just like with my PIP implants which ruptured and caused me a great deal of pain, ladies are still living with fully intact PIP implants to this day none the wiser as to what is inside of them. It’s a subject that I believe requires a lot more discussion and justice for victims who have suffered.
I now have smooth breast implants, which through medical science evolving has shown that no such cancer complications take place as it cannot bind to the surface of the implant to grow abnormally. In the 14yrs that I’ve had breast implants I have somehow had two different brands which have been withdrawn from medical use after years of being sold worldwide to unsuspecting patients. As with anything in life, time will tell if complications arise and so many studies have to be undertaken to confirm that an implant is suitable for medical use and ultimately fully responsible for the symptoms of the majority of patients before it can then be classified as unsafe.
In my case it was the luck of the draw – the wrong place at the wrong time with something that people believed was safe and sustainable. Other women have had breast implants for 30-40yrs if not longer with no complications. Breast augmentations are safe and suitable for the majority of patients, despite having always had high-end private surgery at expensive clinics nobody was to know that my implants would fail and affect my health, but I am incredibly grateful, thankful and humbled that this was discovered now by Dr Serbulent and that I have been given a second chance to return to health now that my poisonous tissue and implants have been removed.
Recovering in my hospital room I feel as though all of my Christmases have come at once, not only do I now have the breasts of my dreams with my surgeon having given me exactly what I asked for, he has also saved my life and given me an ongoing better quality of life through removing the issue that caused my immune system to fight me daily.
I really do feel lost for words at how life-changing this experience has been for me, and as I say, I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe in sharing this experience with the world I can help and inform others of these dangers because just like with my PIP breast implants, I didn’t know that I had Allergen as my replacement either – both of these surgeries were carried out in the UK by leading private clinics totalling £15,000. I don’t think many people know the make and model of implants put into their bodies, just as I wouldn’t know the serial numbers and individual batch of car parts used by my mechanic in my annual MOT and service.
Through speaking about our experiences, sharing in our findings and encouraging the discussion about our bodies we can distinguish change, symptoms and spot warning signs that doctors may miss out on as they’re not plastic surgeons nor have the same symptoms themselves. If left in my body my breast implants could have potentially harmed me, in the blink of an eye Dr Serbulent know they were encapsulated the moment he saw them and thankfully they are now out – expertise that is fundamental in the medical industry and all the more reason for us as patients to be prepared to travel to seek a specialist plastic surgeon.
Fully rested and unexpectedly reassured about the cause for my hardened lymph nodes which my doctor had simply advised me to live with I put my tiredness, weakness and lack of energy down to being a thirty-something single parent with a busy lifestyle, unsure of why my immune system was on constant high-alert. Now I know why and I am so incredibly thankful to have had these implants replaced – it will be interesting to see if my lymph nodes soften with time.
Having my every need tended to I was able to feed myself, go to the toilet by myself and keep a surgical diary as I go! I’m recovering wonderfully, have been pain-free the entire time and feel so uplifted, cheerful and positive. The nurses are wonderful, so helpful and kind and I really enjoy speaking to them between naps when they come to change my drip, bring me food and water and take my blood pressure. I feel so safe and well looked after and was delighted to have a visit from my surgeon who came in to check on me before he went home for the evening.
With a full team of medical staff here 24/7 I simply have to press a bell on my bed if I need any assistance – although asking them to plug in my laptop charger above my head so that I could update my blog seemed a bit cheeky but they really didn’t mind!
UPDATE: 29/09/19 1 Day After Surgery
It’s now the morning after surgery and I had the most blissful sleep laying on my back in my hospital bed despite usually laying on my front at home. I didn’t pull any wires, attempt to turn over in the night or need any additional support as the nurses continued to check on me routinely as I slept soundly without a care in the world.
I’m wearing a soft support bra with just a small white bandage over each of my stitches and have drains in my breasts which are thin tubes that remove liquid from building around the implants and help to reduce swelling after surgery. These may be removed today, tomorrow or the nest day depending on how long it takes for the fluid to stop draining, as any blood and fluid collects in little plastic bottles which are kept on the ground either side of my bed to allow gravity to remove excess fluid from my surgery site.
I had the bottles emptied yesterday and as of yet they haven’t refilled much so I’m hoping that my drains may be removed later when I leave the hospital today, before I return to my hotel across the road.
I have various appointments arranged at the hospital for the remainder of my stay in Istanbul as I’ll be flying back to London on Wednesday 2nd October, which will be four days after my surgery, and my aftercare will then continue with Medicci Aesthetics in London so that I will never be without medical assistance and face-to-face support for the remainder of my recovery – something that is vital for achieving the best results from surgery.
Dr Serbulent came by to see me this morning after I finished my breakfast and he checked that my implants were sitting, feeling and behaving appropriately by examining them through my bra. He advised that my drains would need to remain in place for another day or so as there is still excess fluid to clear out of me and I’m happy to keep them for as long as it takes to get the best results and recovery possible.
He was very happy with my progress and asked if I had any questions or concerns – which I didn’t – as this whole process has really been so smooth and easy for me the entire time and the nurses have kept me fully informed on everything that is happening as well as telling me why throughout. I’m usually a person who can think up 100 questions on the spot but I’m so well informed and taken care of that there was no need to question anything, other than to thank my surgeon for his incredible work!
I was then given my medication which I am to take back to the hotel with me and take as instructed on each packet. For this surgery I have just two different tablets to take which are a set of antibiotics and also painkillers. For other surgeries I have had additional medication such as anti-clotting injections, sleeping tablets, a stronger and milder version of additional pain relief and anti-sickness drugs. Seeing as it was just my breasts that were operated on – no fat transfer or multiple areas of the body treated – this recovery is so much easier, and should I need anything else the nurses are seeing me daily so I can ask them.
Following this I had my IV removed which is always nice to have wires taken away and to return to human mode again! I washed whilst leaving my bra on, got myself dressed and returned to my hotel at 11:30am. I took my antibiotic right away, as it’s to be taken at the same time everyday and popped my old breast implants into my flight bag which I’m hoping will pass through airport security as posting things home to the UK from Turkey is more expensive than paying for additional flight luggage at the airport.
At the moment my breasts feel much more firm than usual but this is perfectly normal, they are held securely in place with my surgery bra which almost pins them into place so that when I walk they don’t bounce and the skin around my stitches can heal safely without catching or pulling.
Despite not wearing a push-up bra and having my breasts pinned down into position they are already much closer together than my old implants were – before I could fit a whole hand of five fingers between my breasts and now I can only fit two fingers! Dr Serbulent was able to put a stitch in my breast pocket during surgery which closed the outer edges of where my implants sit – effectively re-routing them to face forwards rather than turn outward.
Because my new implants are not encapsulated, and therefore aren’t being squeeze inwards, they are much smoother, closer together and far more natural looking and I’m absolutely thrilled with the results!
It’s been really nice to get out of bed today, get washed, dressed and out and about in the beautiful sunshine as I rarely stay in bed past 7am when I’m at home because I love being active, so being in hospital makes me feel very lazy and out of sorts although the rest had done me a world of good.
I went for a walk about after returning to my hotel to look for some vegan food and see what shops there are to browse. Seeing as it’s Sunday most places are closed but I found a supermarket where I was able to buy some things for dinner as I was really craving home cooked vegan food that I’m used to. I managed to find some protein bars which were all whey, not plant-based, as consuming protein helps the body to repair itself which is vital after surgery.
Instead I got some rice, green beans, lentils and walnuts and carried my food shopping and drains home in a little bag just a five minute walk from my hotel. I’m fine to cook and carry shopping, just light things like lifting a pan and carrying a plate at the moment, I wouldn’t want to attempt anything heavier or more demanding incase it pulls my chest muscles and causes unnecessary damage.
As far as mobility goes I have a really good rang of motion to my arms which I can raise without discomfort and use almost as normal. Despite my 825cc breast implants being twice as heavy as my previous I’m not feeling any back or shoulder pain and I’m able to keep my posture pretty upright without hunching or stooping.
Today has been the first day that I woke up in the morning in hospital and have stayed awake all day, as yesterday I napped off and on all day and night as I was sleepy from the anaesthetic. I did try to take a nap this afternoon and got into bed but ended up watching a movie instead and after that I felt well rested so got up again, saving my sleep until the evening which meant that I could reset my body clock and be awake during the day and asleep at night – hoorah!
Just one day after surgery and I’m feeling great. I think I’m going to attempt a hair wash tomorrow as so far I’ve showered by haven’t touched my hair. I’ll see how I feel in the morning and find out what time I’ll be with the nurses.
UPDATE: 30/09/19 2 Days After Surgery
So I woke up this morning, 48hrs after surgery, and I had a text from the nurses to say that they would come to me in my hotel room at 11am today. Seeing as I woke up at 7am I had four hours to prepare myself and after a good nights sleep I felt ready and able to wash my hair by myself.
Everybody heals at their own pace and some may feel more able than others. I’m fortunate that I don’t feel any pain after surgery, just a mild tightness to my stitches, and I’m able to move my arms freely.
The hotel room is very well equipped for patients after surgery as there are disabled rails to hold onto as well as a folding seat in the shower. I’ve kept my surgery bra on the entire time and wash around it in the shower or at the sink, as that’s an area that the nurses are dealing with and taking care of my stitches – not me!
I kept my bra on throughout my hair wash and shower today, starting off with sitting on the shower seat and positioning the water in a stream infront of me so that all I had to do was lean forward with a towel around my shoulders to keep my bra dry and dip my hair in the water – much like being at the hairdressers.
I was able to remain seated throughout and massage shampoo and conditioner into my hair before rinsing it off. I then wrapped my hair up in a towel so that no water ran into my bra, before washing the rest of my body with shower gel and using the handheld shower head to rinse myself down keeping my top half dry.
It may seem insignificant washing my hair by myself two days after surgery, but for me this was the biggest hurdle to overcome in taking care of myself as I can already wash, dress and cook by myself. The first time I had breast surgery at the age of 18 my mum washed my hair for me for weeks and I definitely wasn’t as calm, in control and relaxed about surgery as I am now – I guess time, age and life experiences make you more capable, if you’re not used to something it will always come as a shock.
I’ve also devised a system for sleeping comfortably on my back because I’m a front sleeper through and through and I was concerned that I may roll onto my side in a normal bed now that I’m not inclined in my hospital bed which kept me in place. Using a series of pillows I stacked two behind me to keep me at an incline, one beneath my knees to keep my legs bent and one beneath my arm towards the middle of the bed so that if I attempted to roll over mid-sleep my body and the pillows would stop me.
I find sleeping with my knees drawn up is far more comfortable than laying flat on my back like a plank, and being on a slight incline with extra pillows meant that the weight of the implants wasn’t pushing directly onto my chest or affecting my breathing. I literally don’t notice the weight of my new implants at all, just a slight warm sensation where the stitches are which feels similar to when you graze your knee. It’s a little noticeable and makes you more protective but isn’t painful or uncomfortable.
After getting showered and washing my hair, dressed and my medication taken I decided to order room service for breakfast despite the hotel not having a vegan menu. Instead I asked if they could make up a selection of salad and hummus and whilst it’s not on the menu they were more than happy to accommodate. It was so good to have a bowl of fresh salad and vegetables and protein in hummus and I’m literally stuffed after finishing it all.
I haven’t been half as active as I normally would, fasting for surgery and eating soft liquid food has certainly shrunk my appetite and resting all day means that I don’t get as hungry as normal. For this, surgery always seems a great way to lose a few excess pounds – exactly what I put on for my fat transfer but didn’t need!
Dr Serbulent informed me that my previous fat transfer to my breasts didn’t survive after surgery as this is a part of the body which is difficult for it to take if there isn’t already plentiful fat in place for it to bind to. After having my PIP implants removed I had the very little amount of natural fat in my breasts taken away also and so now I’m left with nothing.
Rather than having my body liposuctioned to reposition fat into the tops of my breasts I’m happy to not have it as I’m planning on returning to bodybuilding once I’m healed and would have probably lost it then anyway. It also means that my surgery is far more minimal and my recovery easier as my implants were put in through my previous incisions and I’ll heal exactly the same as before without additional scarring.
The nurse came to me this morning to take my blood pressure and temperature before emptying my drains and was very pleased with my progress and level of mobility, reassuring me that the more active and healthy I am the quicker my body will recover and return to normal. Whether you walk around your hospital room, venture about in the hotel or even look around the shops, getting the circulation moving and getting up and about between resting makes a world of difference.
I was also given a Medical Certificate from my surgeon which states:
“We hereby certify the disability of the patient Tracy Kiss due to surgery from 28/09/19 – 12/10/19.”
As well as a Confirmation of Fitness For Flying:
“Mrs Tracy Kiss underwent the following surgery: breast augmentation with implants on 28.09.19
There were no complications during and after the operation. The intervention sites are irritation-free and there are no more wound fluids.
All vital signs were in the normal range at all times.
In an emergency, the passenger Tracy Kiss would have to be treated like any other passenger.”
My breasts were not examined or touched, just my health monitored and as I was already washed, dressed and fed there was nothing else that I needed any help with. I was happy to confirm that I will return to the hospital tomorrow morning where I presume my dressings may be changed and if I’m very lucky have my drains removed!
This afternoon I decided to head across to the Grand Bizarre as it’s something I saw online before I came here when looking at things to do and places to see in Istanbul. The lovely staff at my hotel reception helped me to change some pounds for lira as well as book a taxi to take me directly there. It was around a 30min taxi ride which cost ₺45.00 – that’s only £6.45!
I didn’t wear a seatbelt in the taxi and found the journey only slightly bumpy. I have to wait 10 days after surgery before I can drive back home but I’m happy to walk everywhere taking my children to school and keeping my three dogs active. It will be nice to return to my normal level of activity, nothing too strenuous as I won’t be going back to the gym for a total of six weeks, but just to keep my steps up, doing some light housework and work from home.
There are cars literally everywhere in Istanbul and the traffic is crazy, much like in London. I was considering walking the 3-4miles which takes around an hour and a half on foot to the bizarre but in the heat and with my drains in my bag I didn’t want to risk having a funny turn or fainting. I’m feeling really good, so full of energy and recovering well – but that’s not to say that I should overdo it. I’d think nothing of walking my dogs for an hour or two each day back home, but on antibiotics and in a city where I don’t know where I’m going by myself I decided to take a taxi instead this time.
The Grand Bizarre is beautiful, driving over the water to a large square where the fragrance of coffee shops and shisha fills the air. It’s just so bright and colourful, everywhere you look bursting with bright and twinkly things like something out of Disney’s Aladdin. From herbal teas and spices to handmade rugs, stunning jewellery, sweets, glassware, perfumes and cosmetics.
I spent a few hours walking around buying gifts for my family back home, careful not to make my shopping bags too heavy. It was lovely to be out in the sunshine experiencing the culture and trying new things. Despite the hundreds of people crowded around nobody bumped into me and I kept my arms by my side as a precaution to protect my breasts, with my money and phone in a bum bag so that nothing pulled or caused any weight on my shoulder.
Hailing a yellow taxi from the side of the road back to my hotel I then stopped off at a beauty salon to have my nails done and almost fell asleep whilst having them painted – I didn’t realise how tired I was and sitting down getting pampered made me feel so cosy. Today has certainly been very active and eventful and I’m snuggled up in bed now at the end of the evening feeling beautifully shopped out and adequately exercised – what’s not to love about shopping in the Turkish sunshine!
UPDATE: 01/10/19 3 Days After Surgery
Waking up for my final hospital check today felt like such a big event in my surgery journey. Seeing as I’m flying back to England tomorrow I had really hoped that I would have my drains removed today if the fluid had cleared enough, rather than tomorrow before I leave for the airport at 11am.
With my final check-up with Dr Serbulent at the hospital at 2pm I had time to have a lazy morning, pack my bags for tomorrow and go on a little adventure to dine at a vegan restaurant which was a 20min walk from my hotel.
I love trying seeing places and experiencing vegan cuisine from different parts of the world which made me so excited to locate a Turkish vegan restaurant called Veganarsist who produce 100% homemade vegan food and nothing else – my idea of heaven!
Walking in the beautiful sunshine I followed Google maps on my phone through Istanbul admiring the many beautiful stores, cafes, restaurants, people and cats along the way. I’ve always loved walking and being outdoors and I’m so pleased that having surgery hasn’t prevented me from doing what I love most; thankfully I haven’t felt unwell, sick or dizzy at all despite being on medication and only three days after having had my breast surgery.
I had the most delicious glass of handmade lavender lemonade followed by gluten-free falafella which are vegetable chickpea patties with lettuce, grated carrot, red cabbage, tomato, gherkin pickles, roquette, scallion, parsley, lemon, olive oil, thyme, tahini sauce, roasted eggplant and hot sauce and it literally lifted my soul. Packed with vitamins, nutrients and protein it’s the perfect food to repair my body after surgery as I keep active and my metabolism and circulation are renewed.
I had the biggest smile on my face and spring in my step as I walked back to the hospital to see Dr Serbulent and his team. He didn’t even have to ask me how I was because my smile and enthusiastic hug said it all, I really cannot put into words just how happy I am, nor do justice for his incredible work, it has been life-changing for me. I never thought I could have got everything that I asked for and more!
Seeing my breasts for the very first time without a bra I was a little nervous that once the support was taken away my implants might off and roll across the floor. To go from having them held firmly in place to suddenly free and out in the open just three days after surgery felt so exciting yet made me nervous too.
Needless to say my breasts didn’t drop off without my bra on! If anything they looked and felt even bigger as they were not being held down and pinned in with a bra. Dr Serbulent examined my breasts touching and lifting them to see how they respond and sit which wasn’t painful, just an odd sensation as in places they’re slightly numb still but this is normal.
Giving me the all clear and being very pleased with my results, he wished me a safe journey home and handed me over to his team of nurses to remove my drains and change my dressings. I’ve never been a fan of having drains as the thought of catching them and pulling them out makes me feel uneasy, yet the work that they do is essential to a healthy recovery.
My drains were emptied yesterday for the second time and had only refilled slightly by this afternoon, making around 4.5 small containers of fluid removed from me in total. The drains are stitched into place just to the side of each breast implant incision and this stitching has to be cut with a scalpel before the drains can be pulled out by hand like a long piece of spaghetti.
It’s a funny sensation having drains removed, it doesn’t hurt but you can feel something wiggling inside as the tube slides out, measuring around 5/6″ in length and running inside the chest beneath the breasts. It literally takes just a few seconds for the tubes to come out and the holes when they were will continue to weep fluid now until the skin heals over.
Having my white dressings removed, a brown tape covers my incisions which are around 3-4″ in length and are the same size as my previous scars as Dr Serbulent was able to operate through my scars to minimise scarring which was great! The scars are not painful, they just feel warm and tingly as the body is healing and the stitches used will dissolve of their own accord over the next 3 weeks which is great as I don’t have to have them removed.
The scar is so neat and tidy, a slim line that starts off pinkish-red after surgery and fades to white over the coming months. As it sits at the crease under the bust it is never visible, making breast surgery literally undetectable with a larger cleavage.
The nurses talked me through the procedure of changing, cleaning and dressing my breasts for the next 5-7 days for which I can shower with my white dressings on, making sure I change them after and use my disinfectant on top of my brown stitches dressings.
I need to wear my surgery bra for one more month now before I can switch to something else, but as I find sports bras so supportive and comfortable I don’t think I’ll ever go back to underwired bras again. Even though my breast implants are larger than I’ve ever had before – 825cc weigh around 4lbs – it hasn’t affected my posture nor given me neckache or backache so far, testament to a regular weightlifting routine supporting and strengthening the body.
Finally I received a letter of confirmation from Dr Serbulent stating that the breast implants he removed are Allergen and the date of my surgery. This will be forwarded to my lawyer in Paris who is currently representing me in the PIP breast implant trial and will shortly begin legal proceedings with this evidence against Allergen following the removal of these textured implants from the market due to their link to a rare form of breast cancer.
I hope that you have found my surgery diary helpful and informative, my updates will now be more spaced out as the majority of my hospital aftercare is complete so instead I’ll be keeping note of milestones, fitness and progress for future updates!
UPDATE: 02/10/19 4 Days After Surgery
I literally couldn’t sleep for love or money last night – I was just so excited to come home and see all of my family! Packed, prepared and ready to get a good nights sleep for a busy day of travel ahead I just couldn’t switch off and found myself clock watching the entire night which really wasn’t ideal – I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.
Checking out of my hotel room at 9am, I had breakfast at the hotel restaurant and then waited in reception with my bags until 11am when the car came to take me to Istanbul airport around an hours drive away.
Although I’d planned to travel with just a holdall only to wheel along behind me, and not stow a suitcase that I wouldn’t be able to manage, seeing as I had been shopping during my stay and purchased gifts from duty free for my family I didn’t have the space in my holdall for everything!
So instead I checked my holdall in as a suitcase and carried my laptop and camera in a shopping bag onto the plane which was the only alternative that I could think of. Despite a laptop and camera not weighing much, it was surprisingly heavy to lug about all day and whilst walking the 15mins across Istanbul airport to the terminal for my departure the weight got too much for me!
Fortunately a friendly member of airport staff saw me struggling to carry my bag and asked if I’d like a lift on a buggy to my terminal. Driven to my departure I boarded my flight, reclined my seat and fell fast asleep within minutes. From leaving my hotel at 9am to arriving at my house at 7:30pm (9:30pm Turkish time) I spent a total of 12.5hrs travelling and it totally wiped me out.
If I’d have had my wheelie case to pull along rather than carrying my laptop I wouldn’t have struggled as much with my luggage, and I guess if I’d have slept properly the night before leaving I wouldn’t have been as tired. By far the hardest part of this whole process has been returning home carrying a bag with no sleep!
Sinking into my fresh and fluffed up pillows, pulling on my cosy duvet and closing my eyes in my own bed I quite possibly had the best sleep of my life!
UPDATE: 03/10/19 5 Days After Surgery
This morning I woke up in my own bed feeling absolutely reborn. After breakfast I hopped into the shower for my very first hair wash and body wash all at once as finally I was allowed to remove my bra and dressings rather than washing each body part separately and trying to keep my bra dry whilst doing my hair.
I was told by the nurses at the hospital that the holes from my drains would be left open to heal naturally and as a result of this they may weep, which they did, but as I knew what to expect by being kept fully informed it wasn’t a shock. Standing under the cascading warm water in the shower I lathered up my hair, shaved my legs and peeled off the white surgical dressing which lifted off beautifully thanks to the soapy water.
As you can see from the dressings the right side weeped and the left side didn’t. My breasts feel slightly firm and tight which is normal, and will soften and drop into place as my body repairs itself and the chest muscles settle in with my new implants. I have a slight green bruising which has come up on my left hand from my IV but other than that I think my surgery is already undetectable whilst clothed as my mobility is great and I’m not stiff or hunched in posture.
Opening my aftercare pack from the hospital I removed my antiseptic, gauze and dressings which the nurse had talked me through at my previous appointment.
Much like changing a nappy, the more you do it the faster and easier it becomes. Whilst I remember asking my mum to come over to help me to change my dressings several years ago after my breast reconstruction, today I happily did the same by myself in half the time.
As you can see from the pictures below my hand is bruised from the IV, I have removed the white dressing in the shower and my stitches are covered by a light coloured tape which stays in place for the first week before it naturally peels up. Just to the side of my stitches is a hole from my drains which is left open as the body heals it by itself.
Using the orange/brown antiseptic fluid on a cause I coated the stitches dressing to ensure that it is clean and sterile to prevent infection. The stitches do not hurt, aren’t sore and surprisingly do not rub on my bra because of the padding.
Following this I applied the rectangular pale dressing from my aftercare kit over the top of my sterile stitches dressing and antiseptic to give a second layer of protection – the dressings now half the size of what they were at the hospital just 5 days after surgery.
I then used an additional piece of gauze to place over the dressings, without securing it in place, before putting my support bra back on. These dressings along with my antibiotics will last me 7 days in total, which is just two more days time!
I can’t believe how fast the time has gone since having surgery and I feel so much more comfortable and confident with cleaning and dressing myself than I did when I first had surgery at the age of 18.
Seeing my family again has been wonderful and they’re all so amazed at how quickly I’ve returned to normal and how energetic and upbeat I am about the whole experience. We all handle change in different ways and I strongly believe that the more positive and welcoming you are of change the easier it is to adjust and overcome it.
In a couple of days time after I’ve finished changing my own dressings and completed my antibiotics I will receive an appointment for my UK aftercare where I will have my scars examined once all dressings are removed.
Seeing as it’s been windy and raining constantly since I returned to the UK I can’t get out and about as much as I’d have liked as understandably the children and dogs don’t want to walk in the rain and get drenched! So I’m hoping to head to the gym with my boyfriend and whilst he lifts weights I can walk gently on the treadmill to burn off my excess bodyfat that I gained for surgery with some safe and simple, surgery-friendly low-impact walking. Although I’d have much preferred to be walking around sunny Istanbul shopping for neck scarves and perfume of course!
UPDATE: 07/10/19 9 Days After Surgery
It’s Monday morning, I’ve just walked my children to school and I’m one day away from being allowed to drive again after surgery! Whoop!
Seeing as I put on almost half a stone in weight in preparation for fat transfer during surgery, which I didn’t need, I’m now monitoring my fat loss as I eat fresh, clean and healthy once more and return to my natural level of fitness gradually.
I find it really interesting to see how much my breast implants weigh, which I know is twice as much as my previous implants but I’m not sure of the total. I always forget to take off the additional weight of my buttock and breast implants when I’m tracking my body composition, so I thought I’d compare my results here from before, during and after my surgery.
Directly before surgery I weighed 10st9lbs which I would expect to get heavier with my new breast implants and additional bodyfat for surgery, yet when I returned to the UK and tested my weight a couple of days ago I’m now 10st7lbs and have actually lost two pounds in weight instead of getting heavier. My pre-surgery weight was 10st5lbs so I’m still 2lbs heavier than normal.
My bodyfat for surgery was 22% (my normal bodyfat 18.7%) and my bodyfat now is 24.5% which I know isn’t possible as I’ve lost excess weight since surgery and it took a lot of continuous overeating to gain 4% bodyfat for surgery. Therefore I think my new breast implants are measuring as bodyfat!
I can put my weightloss after surgery, instead of weight gain from my implants, down to two things. Firstly I had to fast for surgery which mean’t not eating from midnight the night before my surgery up until late afternoon once I’d woken up. I then had light and soft food to restart my digestion as opposed to big and bulky meals so I consumed far less calories than I normally would which would reduce my bodyfat.
I also haven’t trained weights at the gym for almost three weeks now, compared to when I went daily for up to two hours at a time. As a result of this my muscle mass will have dropped – as muscle weighs more than bodyfat – so my legs, arms, chest and back will become slimmer, less dense and more squishy which will lighten the scales.
I did however go to the gym this weekend with my boyfriend! Not to train but just to accompany him and watch him having a workout as it’s a part of our routine that we always do together and he’s not stopping going to the gym just because I can’t. As it’s now autumn and it’s freezing cold, windy and raining outside instead of going for afternoon walks in the gorgeous summer sunshine I took a cool 15min slow walk on the treadmill with the air conditioning on whilst waiting for my boyfriend to finish his workout.
Seeing as I can’t drive until day 10 of my recovery I have to walk my children to and from school everyday; so going for short walks and being mindful not to get hot, sweaty or raise my heart rate too much, I can increase my stamina enough to manage the school runs without getting out of breath or feeling overwhelmed after surgery.
I potter about my house throughout the day as I work from home, but the 20min school run twice a day is something that I was mindful to work my way up to. I loved walking to the shops and restaurants in Istanbul, which was warm and bright, however in England it’s dark and cold so I’m careful to wrap up to keep dry but also to keep cool so as not to overheat. It’s a fine line between balancing body temperature.
I’ve always used fitness as a way to relax, destress, unwind and have a healthy appetite to enjoy my food whilst sleeping better at night for burning off excess energy. Whilst I’m still 5 weeks away from returning to m daily fitness routine, I’m taking my recovery at a 5% pace, walking without getting out of breath and resting up all day. I no longer feel sleepy throughout the day, all medication has now stopped and I’m happily changing my dressings when I shower.
This is the part of my recovery where it’s just a matter of waiting to heal properly, taking it easy, not over-doing things and enjoying catching up on boxsets and movies whilst working from home on my laptop. It all feels so very lazy and unlike me, but my body is really appreciating the break from my gruelling fitness routine and I know that my results and good health are worth it!
In answer to a few questions that I’ve had on social media:
– How much did it cost? My breast surgery of implant exchange and all inclusive stay, treatment and aftercare in Turkey cost £3,000.00. Had I have needed to have a breast lift it would have cost £3,800.00 which is an alternative method to using a larger implant to fill up loose/excess skin.
–How can I book with your surgeon? You can contact Dr Roya at www.medicciaesthetics.co.uk who can answer any questions you may have and arrange everything for you.
–How are you sleeping now that you’re home? I’m continuing to sleep at a 40 degree angle on my back with a nice squishy pile of pillows on my bed so as to keep my head and shoulders elevated as my breasts heal. I’m sleeping fine and have got used to being propped up and always on my back now, I’m in no pain or discomfort and I’m getting 7-8hrs of continuous sleep the same as before surgery.
–When will you be back at the gym bodybuilding? I can return to the gym to lift weights 6weeks after my surgery, although it will take me several weeks after that to rebuild my muscles and return to my pre-surgery strength and stamina. I am aiming to be back on form for Christmas and will be taking each session one step at a time to first build my endurance and stamina and then my strength to reach my goals.
–What is your new bra size? I haven’t been measured yet as I will continue to wear my adjustable surgery bra for one month post-op. The back and straps are fully adjustable to keep me supported as I heal so I really could be any size! Considering my previous 470cc implants made me a 30FF and my new implants are 825cc, almost double the size, I estimate I may be around a 30K bra size. But each brand varies and you can be completely different sizes at different stores.
–Do your old clothes still fit you? I’ve always been a size UK8 and I was hoping that my new breasts wouldn’t wipe out half of my wardrobe overnight! Surprisingly 95% of my existing clothes still fit me perfectly as my breasts are held down by my surgery bra at the moment – perhaps in a push-up bra they may not. The only thing I’ve had problems with has been my raincoat which I couldn’t zip up past my ribs, however I can wear buttoned blouses part open with a vest top beneath to allow for my new cleavage so I have no need to replace my wardrobe.
I hope that I’ve covered lots of information and personal tips around healing, but if there’s something I’ve missed out on or you’d like to know more about then please just ask!
UPDATE: 14/10/19 16 Days After Surgery
I’m now two weeks into my recovery, a third of the way through my 6weeks post-surgery healing, and I feel fantastic! The first week post-surgery was so full on with something happening literally everyday, but as each day passes now there is less and less for me to do – other than be lazy really!
I thought I’d check in with a blog update for this landmark moment of hitting week two and update my progress thus far. So let’s kick off with the topic of swelling shall we? Obviously after surgery, no matter which part of the body you have treated, there will be bruising, swelling and tenderness to that area.
Surprisingly I have no bruising, but in pictures my skin can look discoloured to a yellow-brown shade which is actually the coloured antiseptic solution that I wipe across my scars to keep them clean – I’m not secretly a Simpson! The colour is only there to stain the skin to instantly show which areas have been disinfected so that you can make sure you’ve got everything, a bit like applying fake tan.
Understandably my breasts are swollen from surgery and are much firmer, higher, tighter and bigger than they will be once they’ll healed, relaxed and dropped into place. Whilst my post-surgery drains removed fluid from my chest up until three days after my surgery before I had them removed, my body is still adjusting and trying to repair itself as my new implants settle in, and to do this it causes swelling.
My left breast is more swollen than the right, is slightly warmer from the inflammation of swelling and my left nipple is larger in size than my right at the moment as my breast and nipple is swollen. Just like during pregnancy when breasts expand and nipples turn huge, once the swelling subsides the nipples shrink back again. My right nipple has returned to the same shape and size as it was before this surgery, but the left one is still bigger and swollen. Knowing that I have no natural breast tissue of my own and both implants are the same size I know that it’s not possible for my breasts to be two different sizes, it’s just a case of waiting for the healing to take place and each breast takes its own time.
Swelling typically lasts around 6-8 weeks post-surgery and can be reduced by keeping the breasts cool and clean, so although its the winter right now and I’m living in cosy jumpers with many people blasting central heating 24/7, I’m still having my windows open for fresh air, only have the heating on low when absolutely necessary and if I get warm I take a layer of clothing off to reduce my body temperature.
Another sign of healing is to have itchy, flaky and dry tingly skin on the breasts from where the skin has been stretched by a larger implant and also cleaning routines have changed. I would usually exfoliate in the shower and scrub my breasts with a sponge like the rest of my body, but since having surgery I’ve just used warm water on my breasts and hand washed my breasts instead of using anything abrasive or applying pressure.
Skin naturally sheds anyway and is a good sign of healing and cell renewal, with dry skin easily treated by using a moisturiser – just be sure to keep it away from the scars as they have to be kept clean, dry and chemical free for at least three weeks until the skin recovers its waterproof quality after healing.
I’ve now used up all of the medical supplies given to me from the hospital for my self-care, so I no longer have to add and remove dressings in the shower. The small surgical dressings covering my scars (which I didn’t have change but replaced the bigger plasters over them) must be allowed to drop off of their own accord, typically after 7-10days, for which the left is still in place whilst the right pulled off with my plaster dressing that I removed during a routine shower a few days ago.
I didn’t realise my plaster was stuck to my scar cover, so when I peeled it off and the two pieces came away together I was a little surprised that it didn’t hurt and relieved that it was after the first 7-10 days when they needed to remain in place. The only dressing that I have left now is the left scar cover which I’m waiting to drop off naturally – it seems to be taking so long as I’m now two weeks post-surgery! But I’ll continue to wait patiently and continue to wipe my exposed scar and scar cover with antiseptic everyday when I wash.
I’m still sleeping on my back and will continue to do so for at least a month post-surgery. Whilst I was very much strictly rigid on my back in bed before, laying at an incline but keeping my back straight, now I’m able to twist and wiggle a little into a more natural and comfortable shape as it doesn’t pull on my chest because I’m further into my recovery.
I guess when you’re injured you overcompensate on movement by twisting your whole body to look to one side rather than moving just your neck or rotating at the waist, and breast surgery is certainly the same. You almost stiffen up and your upper body becomes very rigid until you heal and can comfortably snuggle and slouch again which for me has happened at week two of my recovery.
I began driving again at day 10 which was nice to get my independence back and meant that I could go shopping and see my friends and family. I drive a manual car and found it noticeably more challenging to change into fifth and sixth gear as you have to engage the chest muscles to push the gear stick away and then pull it towards you. It’s not painful but where the muscles are weak and hasn’t been used it takes more effort, so for this reason I drove slower and stayed at around 30mph in fourth gear so I could easily change down rather than pulling the gears towards me to change up.
Wearing a seatbelt as a driver was fine, even though I couldn’t hold my belt away from me because I needed my hands on the wheel it didn’t restrict me or pull on my chest as it doesn’t cause tension unless you brake hard or have an impact which is less likely to happen if you drive slowly during recovery.
I also found that driving with my hands down in my lap passing the wheel left and right in small relay movements was the easiest method to not engage my chest muscles, as opposed to using one hand to turn the wheel an entire full circle and pulling left and right.
I had another body composition analysis to see how my fat and muscle has changed since before having surgery. My BMI was previously 22.0 and it’s now 22.0, my body fat was previously 18.7% and totalled 12.3kg and it’s now 24% and 15.8kg, my weight was previously 65.8kg/10st5lbs and it’s now 65.8kg/10st5lbs which means that I am the exact same weight now two weeks after surgery as I was before having surgery – how spooky!
It seems to be recording my breast implants as body fat even though they’re silicone as there’s no way that I could have gained almost 3kg/6.6lbs almost half a stone in body fat now that I’m no longer deliberately overeating to put on body fat for surgery. I should be heavier after surgery to accommodate my larger breasts which shows that I must have lost body fat and muscle in order to have returned to my pre-surgery weight within two weeks. I’ll continue to monitor my body fat to see if it ever reduces below 20% when I return to bodybuilding.
Finally I celebrated my birthday at the weekend and my boyfriend very kindly surprised me with a stay at a health spa – although I couldn’t use the pool, jacuzzi or sauna as I have to remain dry for another week. I did however have some delicious food, a lovely pampering and a gentle walk in the gym whilst he lifted weights. It was so nice to get dressed up and go out, to feel more mobile, more glam and to see all of my friends and family to join in the celebration of my special day – who doesn’t love being spoilt!
UPDATE: 25/10/19 27 Days After Surgery
I’m one day shy of four weeks post-surgery recovery and I’m feeling fantastic! One thing that I’ve really noticed recently – across the past week – is that my left more-swollen breast is now relaxing into place and joining the rank of my perfectly recovered right breast.
It’s entirely natural for breasts to be swollen, warm and red after surgery as the body rushes to repair itself with fluid and white blood cells just like when you injure yourself. There will always be some kind of imbalance in healing and I’m taking a shot in the dark here and guessing that my left breast was more swollen than my right because it’s where my heart is and therefore more blood is pumped to and from the left side of the chest?
Either way, I’m excited to see the progress my body is making as I rest, heal and recover. My daily walk to and from school to drop the children off is now far less of a chore for me and I feel less sleepy throughout the day. My body is becoming stronger little by little which I know will make my transition back to the gym in two weeks time all the more sweeter.
My breasts have changed from feeling firm, tight and warm post-surgery to slightly softer now, a little squishy to the touch, cool and slightly smaller as the swelling subsides, but the full recovery and final results are still months away!
It has been incredibly reassuring to have UK aftercare with Medicci Aesthetics as Dr Roya has answered so many questions and queries for me. Although this is my fourth breast surgery and I’m pretty much used to healing and recovery, I still have moments when I think to myself “hmm, can I do that? Should it feel like this? Am I safe to wear that?” as it’s several years since I last had breast surgery. A quick message to Dr Roya and minutes later I am fully informed, safe and feel reassured – it’s also nice that she’s a female doctor and incredibly understanding and knowledgeable.
Seeing as I haven’t had any complications or concerns with my recovery, and I’ve sent progress pictures to Dr Roya throughout, I haven’t had a face-to-face check-up with her yet as I’ve not needed one. My scars are healing wonderfully and I’m keeping them clean and dry and sterile at all times.
Whilst all of my surgical dressings are off I still use my antiseptic lotion, surgery bra and a little padding over my scars to prevent any rubbing or irritation from my bra on my scars. I’m wearing normal clothes, doing mostly normal things, the only difference between my normal life is I’m not yet lifting weights or going to the gym everyday – but I will be in two weeks and I’ll be sure to start off light and gentle as I ease my way back in again.
Tomorrow, 4 weeks after surgery, I no longer need to wear my surgery bra which will be the end of an era as I’ve become rather attached to it! The adjustable band and straps, zip up front ease of undressing is super practical. However, now that I can wear whatever I want I will not return to underwired bras. Over a cup of green tea yesterday I had a chit-chat with my mother and we reminisced over the pain and bruises of wearing underwired bras which seemed to be ‘the norm’ several years ago.
I’ve spent the past few years literally living in sports bras as I gym daily and they’re super comfortable to wear at night too! So I shall simply return to wearing sports bras 24/7 which keeps everything in place, supported and nicely tucked away to avoid getting black eyes when I run up the stairs or do any kind of exercise. Although I think I’ll still cycle between wearing my surgery bra too because it’s just so wonderfully comfortable!
UPDATE: 29/10/19 31 Days After Surgery
Whilst it’s only been four days since my last update, I thought that I’d check-in today because I’m loving rocking my gym bras again! Whilst I can’t have a workout yet, before surgery I literally lived in my gym wear as it’s just so comfy and practical so it’s nice to be back in the clothes that I find most enjoyable and I feel like my everyday routine is getting closer and closer to being normal again.
It’s easy to feel out of sorts after surgery when everything is thrown up in the air and all routine and hobbies go out of the window as you can only rest and recover. I’m not the kind of person who enjoys feeling weak or helpless, I don’t want anyone to look after me or take care of me and I get the most satisfaction and motivation from doing things for myself.
When my boyfriend goes to the gym we have a joint membership and I go with him – I accompany him to train him as I’m a personal trainer – and today we had a really great session. Well, I whipped him into shape and he took a picture of me holding a balance posture as I can’t do any weights.
Tracking my body composition progress, My BMI was previously 22.0 before surgery at 2 weeks post surgery it was also 22.0 and at 4.5 weeks post surgery I’m now 22.1. My body fat before surgery was previously 18.7% and totalled 12.3kg, 2 weeks after surgery it was 24% and 15.8kg and 4.5wks after surgery it’s now 23.5% and 15.5kg. My weight was previously 65.8kg/10st5lbs before surgery, at 2 weeks post-surgery it was 65.8kg/10st5lbs and now that I’m 4.5wks post-surgery I weigh 66.1kg/10st5lbs.
My weight has pretty much remained the same throughout my surgery journey however my body fat is gradually dropping and this is just because of healthy nutrition and walking my children to and from school. Gaining weight for fat transfer for surgery (which I didn’t need in the end) I put on almost half a stone in body fat before I flew to Turkey. My BMI has since reduced from 22.4 to 22.1 putting me in the ideal weight category for my height and weight.
At 23.5% for body fat I am just 1.3% away from the 22.2% category of excellent again. Whilst most girls would look to maintain a steady weight following fat transfer, so as to keep enough of the fat cells alive after surgery, my goal is to instead reduce my body fat and return to my pre-surgery athleticism without the fear of my body shape changing or undoing my results.
UPDATE: 09/11/19 6 Weeks After Surgery
Six weeks into my recovery and I am finally back to the gym and ready to rebuild my fitness routine – one small step at a time. I’m keeping my cardio low impact, my weights light at just 5kg and my reps low at 3 sets of 10.
Having had my UK aftercare appointment with Dr Roya of Medicci Aesthetics, my breasts were examined for any lumps, swelling, heat or hardness for which I passed with fling colours and my wounds are looking perfect.
I’m now able to apply a scar cream to my surgery scars to minimise their appearance and have just a little redness left on the side of my left breast from where my chest muscles were opened up to bring my implants closer together, however this should reduce over the next few weeks.
I’m so happy to be back at the gym doing what I love best and hope that over the next several weeks I’ll be able to regain my pre-surgery condition, now with the breasts of my dreams!
UPDATE: 23/11/19 8 Weeks After Surgery
8 Weeks post-surgery and my surgeon Dr Serbulent performed a breast check whilst he was in London when I came to my UK aftercare appointment at Medicci Aesthetics.
My breasts have healed wonderfully and the small bit of redness that I had on my left breast is all but gone now. Dr Serbulent confirmed that my healing is just as it should be and that the redness is from opening up the muscle which will settle down over the next few weeks.
Despite my surgeon living in Istanbul, Turkey, he travels to the UK and worldwide stopping off to meet patients, teach other surgeons and attend medical conferences and it was wonderful to catch up and see him today now that I’ve recovered and returned to my everyday life.
At 6 week post-surgery I was able to return to the gym, now at 8 weeks post-surgery I am gradually rebuilding my strength. Training lightly and being cautious not to cause any damage by listening to my body and understanding what I am capable of.
I had a one-to-one personal training session to check my form and ability post-surgery with Chris Hall of One2One Personal Training and found it incredibly reassuring to have professional fitness advice on how best to adapt my gym routine to suit my new posture, bust and recovery of my chest muscles.
Remember to check back soon to see how I’m getting on! You can leave any questions, comments, thoughts, feelings or feedback in the comments box at the bottom of this post x x
If you think that you, or somebody you know, may have PIP breast implants or Allergen, even if they’ve been removed, you can register as a victim and apply for medical compensation here: www.pipaworld.com
My Post-Surgery Body Contouring & Aftercare:
My Plastic Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeon in Istanbul Turkey:
Dr Serbulent Guzey