Debbie's Breast Reduction
What made you consider having cosmetic surgery?
My breasts were causing me quite a bit of back pain (I was an H cup, I think) and for so long I just felt insecure about the way I looked. I wanted the freedom to be more active without pain, and to feel more confident in my appearance.
What was your process for gathering information and starting your research?
I didn’t know anyone else who had gotten a breast reduction, so I started with a Google search. I found myself on the Medbelle page and I submitted my details.
I got a call back within 20 minutes – I was quite impressed with how quickly they responded! No other clinic I researched did that for me, but just talking to someone on the phone was so helpful.
We discussed what I envisioned for myself and I instantly felt settled on my decision. I wanted to go ahead with it.
How did you find Medbelle and what was your first contact with them like?
Honestly, they were great. I always felt supported and as though I had someone to talk to.
The day before the surgery, I got a call – and they even sent me a little gift afterwards. My PCA was Shannon and she was just brilliant.
What was the initial consultation process like?
My surgeon was Dr. Topping and I think the consultation went well.
The first thing he did was a cancer screen for lumps and bumps, then we chatted about the procedure in general, how much it would cost, and any potential risks.
By the end of it all, I felt like I had a much clearer idea of what was going to happen – it’s incredibly reassuring to feel like your doctor knows what they’re doing.
What was it that made you decide to book your treatment with Medbelle?
For me it was the fact that there were just so many options for the kind of procedure I wanted. I chose not just a reduction but an uplift as well, because I didn’t want to end up with too much sagging. I liked that the surgeon had taken the time to discuss what would work for me and my body, and explain why we were going ahead with that particular procedure.
It also made a big difference that the clinic was close to me. I felt like the staff were quite considerate of this when booking my appointments and planning the day of the surgery.
No other clinics gave me a choice when it came to the surgeon, or in choosing a location that was close to me.
I feel that with Medbelle the whole process was so transparent, so I knew exactly what I was getting into. I don’t feel like other clinics take your convenience into account as much.
How were you feeling in the lead up to your surgery?
I have to say that I was incredibly nervous. I’d downloaded an app on my phone that lets you browse before and after pictures of people who’ve also gone through breast reduction, and you can read their stories and see their results.
It was really nerve-wracking to not know how my own procedure was going to turn out, and obviously I didn’t want to end up with bad scarring or a result I hated. I tried to find women who looked like me and had the same surgery, so I could get some idea of what I’d look like.
Though this helped, in the end what calmed me down was having Shannon call and reassure me that everything would be OK, that the doctor was experienced, and that I didn’t have anything to be worried about.
She explained that it’s quite normal to be nervous like that – it is, after all, a life-changing surgery!
Shannon was always available on WhatsApp and I think the fact that she was so relaxed helped me feel calmer about everything. She was professional, but I also felt like she was just a kind person who I could chat to honestly.
The pre-operation appointment was short, and by that point all that was left to do was cover some practical issues – I needed scar cream, a good post-surgical bra, etc. What helped my nervousness was feeling like I was prepared with these little things.
I spent time making sure my room was clean and ready for when I came home post-op, and both my mum and dad were on standby at home with me.
I had my bras and medication to hand and I made sure I hadn’t planned anything too strenuous for the days that followed.
Describe the day of your surgery from beginning to end.
I had to wake up at around 4 AM to get to the clinic that morning. I was prepared for surgery and marked up on the incision sites before going into theatre. I was given anaesthetic and went under quickly.
The next thing I remember is waking up about 2 hours later and thinking how quickly it was all over. I didn’t feel uncomfortable in the least and the nurses were so sweet and friendly with me.
I spent the next hour in my room just getting my bearings, had a sandwich and within an hour I was discharged so my dad could come pick me up.
My first night at home I slept well, although I had to sleep flat on my back, and I needed a few pillows to help position me, so I wasn’t aggravating the stitches.
What was it like for you in the days and weeks following your surgery?
Because I’d spent so much time online reading sites like RealSelf, I was expecting that I’d need a lot of bedrest and pain medication during my recovery.
In fact, it was a lot less painful than I was expecting. I had to stay in bed a little, but was up and about without too much trouble, and was surprised at how good I felt.
I’d read so many patient stories but it just goes to show that everyone’s experience is going to be a little different!
My recovery was more or less painless. For a week or two I had some gauze and a surgical bra on.
After that I used plenty of scar cream on my anchor scar to make sure it healed properly. It only took about two and a half weeks to get back to my normal daily life. Thankfully, I wasn’t working at the time, and it being May the weather was warming up, so I found myself with plenty of time to rest and heal.
Shannon had left Medbelle by that point, unfortunately, so another care adviser gave me a follow up call to check up on me.
How do you feel about your results so far?
I’m very happy with how it all turned out. The scars are light, almost invisible, which is brilliant since scarring was my main concern going in.
I have no back pain now, and I can walk and run without any issues.
I really love that I can wear all the clothes I want to now – I recently went to Malta on holiday and for the first time in probably five years I was able to go swimming in a costume I actually liked!
We took loads of pictures and I genuinely felt so happy and confident in how I looked.
There’s no question for me that I made the right choice.
What would you say to a friend or family member considering having the same procedure?
I would definitely say take your time.
When it comes to your body and your safety, make sure you do plenty of research before you make your decision.
But I can say that once I’d made my decision, it was one of the best things I could have done for myself. It changed my life.