You know the story so far, if you’re coming in hot then catch up on parts 1 to 4 first then check back in here to make up the fifth part of the now ongoing saga. So with an end game in sight, the future was looking bright, for my breasts at least…
My procedure date rolled around quick, that’s the thing with surgery outside of the NHS, you have the freedom to choose a date that suits you and plan your surgery around your work and life rather than the other way round. I arrived at the Aesthetic Beauty Centre in Newcastle ahead of schedule with a dressing gown, onesie and a stack of reading material.
The operating theatre is in the same building and has been rated outstanding by the CQC, something very few private surgical practices manage to achieve. Aesthetic Beauty Centre is in fact a Centre for Excellence and, after a bit of a smear campaign against its lead practitioner in the early 2000’s, they’ve worked hard to build their reputation back up. So, back to the story, the lounge is upstairs and I’m seated there by the Lead Nurse Wendy who talks me through my consent form and all associated risks and complications before going on to the expected outcome and probable need for further surgery given the cautious approach we’ve decided to take to this procedure.
To refresh your memory, we’re looking at undermining and revising the existing scars I have from various breast procedures including a lumpectomy and breast lift, it’s a procedure with an indeterminate timeframe as we aren’t sure what we’re working with until we get in there. I’ve opted to have this procedure under local anaesthetic, could be the best or worst decision ever but the recovery time is far faster and it means I won’t be incapacitated or require overnight medical supervision, so I’m sticking by it.
When it’s my turn, i’m walked to the theatre with Wendy and sat on the table, she takes me through all my documentation for a second time and I’m asked to verbally confirm everything back to her; so far so good and a lot more thorough than any other procedure I’ve had. When Dr Dutta arrives he’s cheerful and smiling and he tells me that he’s looking to separate some of the adhesions and fibres behind the scar which he will then pad out with fresh, spun fat taken from my lower abdomen to not only fill out the area, but to prevent the fibres from sticking back together.
I’m given local anaesthetic to both breasts and my abdomen and Dr Dutta begins by making two small incisions using scars from a previous laparoscopy. The cuts are pain free and it’s odd to see myself being cut and bleeding, with zero pain. I decide to not watch any more of the procedure as it’s making me feel light headed and my brain is tricking me into thinking I feel pain when I know I don’t.
I lie back and wonder if I’m actually here or if I’m dreaming….
Dr Dutta begins to aspirate fat from my abdomen into a medium sized syringe and keeps checking if I’m ok, I’ve got Wendy by my side asking what my plans are for the weekend; it’s a weird experience and a little like what I imagine goes on during a c-section. With one full syringe of fat, Dr Dutta spins it clean and makes up a clean syringe with what’s left, he tells me there’s around five tablespoons of good fat in there and that it’s more than enough.
I decide to close my eyes for the part where he works on my breasts, they might be tiny but they’re right there in front of my face and that’s a bit too close for me. I feel a sensation of tugging and pulling as the scars are cut internally with a tool that looks like the underwire from a bra, with a pair of tiny telescopic scissors in the end. I’m not going to lie to you Voyeurs, some of the procedure is uncomfortable, these are the parts that would have been masked by a general anaesthetic, and at times I feel very light headed as my mind is still functional and hyperactive during the procedure. I’m thankful that Wendy is tuned in and can spot my concern and she works hard to distract me and keep me in the zone. Dr Dutta checks in on me and tells me that we’re on the home straight and the fat just needs to be grafted into place.
Once the fat is grafted and shaped in the cavity created by the undermining, I’m asked if I want to have a look in a mirror which they’ll bring over to me. I decide to be brave and accept. I’m sat up and shown the shape of my breasts and I’m overwhelmed by the difference, and also the fact that they look huge. You know my feeling on big breasts, I’m a small is better kind of gal. Once I’m stitched up and have my dressing in place, I’m packed into a tight leotard which is like medical grade shape wear, the idea is that this holds your body in it’s newly created shape wherever you’ve had work done, in my case, the underside of the breasts which I’m told need to be lifted and put flat against the fabric in order to create a gentle curve when the fat settles and creates it’s own blood supply.
Within 2 hours of walking through the door, I’m sat quite comfortably in the recovery lounge drinking tea and eating buttered toast waiting for my ride home. Dr Dutta tells me that we’ll repeat the procedure in 13 weeks in order to achieve a more natural result, it’s like a recipe he tells me and we don’t want to over egg the pudding. Throughout my time in the hospital I’m given very realistic expectations and advised immediately of the requirement for further surgery in order to achieve the effect that I want. Dr Dutta and Wendy both talk about creating a curve and contour to my botched breasts, something that’s been absent since my first surgery all those years ago and if I’m entirely honest with myself, it’s something that I can’t picture us ever achieving with my weak starting point.
When I leave, I’m walked to the door with a schedule of appointments to review progress over the next six months and a date for my next round of surgery, Bo is briefed on everything I’m allowed and not allowed to do and I’m told that gym is off the menu completely as that will simply metabolise the fat we’ve worked to grow and graft. Makes sense. I’m told that the next few days will be painful and I’m not to lift anything on my own.
The next morning I wake up in pain. Not agony but I definitely know I’ve been sliced open. I have zero pain or discomfort in my breasts but my abdomen is on fire and it hurts to bend forward. After two days the pain is gradually reducing, it’s barely noticeable after a week and I honestly reckon that after seven days, I could quite happily go back to the gym with no ill effect, but I don’t… for the first time in my life I abide by all the rules.
The nude leotard I’m in must be worn constantly for six whole weeks. I end up buying two more so that I can wash and wear them on rotation and despite the way they sound, they’re actually super comfortable. I can’t really get a good look at anything in terms of shape or scarring until I come back to have my sutures removed in two weeks time so until then I’m as much in the dark as you are…