At 25, I had lost a large amount of weight and my body fat percentage was drastically reduced in a short period of time. This worked wonders for my ass, but wreaked havoc on my chest. I remarked to my girlfriends one night after a few too many drinks that I had tiger nipples. This description, complete with claws and roaring noises, was a reference to the stretch marks that cut deep swaths in my once firm skin. I was in an unhealthy relationship at the time and at the urging of my partner, I decided to do something about my prematurely sagging breasts.
I sought out a highly recommended surgeon who glanced at my breasts in horror before shutting my gown quickly and saying that this sagging was something he normally saw in women twice my age. He assured me that he would not implant anything disproportional to my frame. I insisted that he use large implants—delusional, I wanted to please my boyfriend. Growing up in southern California, I was misguided in part by “Baywatch” images and the desire to become the hyper-sexual caricature that graced the covers of magazines and the silver screen.
I did no research and did not properly communicate my needs to my surgeon. I came out of surgery, literally screaming; as my sister drove me home from the doctor’s office, I wept at the pain and pressure on my chest. After a week of sleep and pain killers, I was up and about and back to my normal life — sort of.
My clothes no longer fit and I had permanent cleavage at all times as the massive pillows of silicone sat up high on my chest. I was initially happy with all of the attention and even jokingly placed one of my friends on nipple patrol when we went out on the town, as my breasts tended to perk right out of my skimpy dresses. I felt more confident and very sexy. This push helped me end my unhealthy relationship and I pursued a career in finance. Suddenly it wasn’t okay for my boobs to be out all of the time. I had matured and wanted to be taken seriously, especially by those who were my peers or under my management.
It was harder to dress professionally with my new accoutrements and shopping for a suit became a nightmare. In addition to the clothes hassle, I began to suffer from constant headaches and neck strain from the additional weight I was carrying around. I developed huge knots in my neck and woke to tension in my jaw and back daily. I could no longer lie on my stomach and was constantly securing my shirt and dresses with safety pins praying they would not spring loose at inopportune moments.
As the years passed, I learned to dress for coverage, making peace with the fact that I now appeared matronly covered up. My scars healed and I got used to having a sore neck and back. I expertly secured and hoisted my breasts into place however an outfit deemed necessary.
But five years later, it became a chore to pull my breasts into place. To my horror, I realized they were beginning to sag more and more at an alarming rate. By this time, the recession was in full bore and my new wonderful boyfriend and I were both struggling to make ends meet. My nipples pointed straight to the ground at rest. For some reason, Alex loved my body despite my imperfections. It upset him, however, that I was so self-conscious when it came to my breasts. One time I asked him to crack my back and he reached down and pulled my breasts up so he could get a tighter grasp on my waist, I burst into tears mortified. I had hoped my discomfort was unfounded, but in that one action, he had confirmed my deepest fears.
The months passed with little or no mention of the incident. I went back to ignoring my anxiety and then Alex proposed. I was so excited about planning our nuptials in every area but one. When my friends asked me excitedly about the dress, I wanted to throw in the towel. With my massive DDD chest there was no way I’d be able to pull off a strapless gown without looking like a porn star. And covering up the mass made me appear frumpy and top heavy, because I was.
Alex insisted that I do my research and get the implants removed before we were married so that I could enjoy the process and be comfortable in my body once again. I found a wonderful surgeon in the city and did a ton of research. After a year of looking over reviews and references, I finally made an appointment to meet with a New York City surgeon. He completely understood what I was looking for. When asked if I wanted a smaller implant to fill out the pocket, I said absolutely not. I wanted them out completely. I didn’t care if I was totally flat chested.
After a few appointments we decided to go ahead with the procedure. I could not be happier with the results. The tension in my neck and back are gone. I am back to my old size still with plenty of breast tissue. I do have some scars resulting from implant removal and the full lift. The size and shape of my breasts is exactly what I was looking for. I have gone dress shopping a couple of times and being able to zip things up and wear a fitted suit is a dream come true. I feel that I have been set free from my body. I’ve been able to exercise and run as I had before the surgery. The surgery was not free by any stretch and so we’ve pushed the wedding back a year. But nothing could be more worth it.
Now both Alex and I are happy with my body. The staff at my surgeon’s office has been incredibly helpful, bent over backwards to ensure that this procedure went smoothly, and was constantly available to me when I had questions during my recovery. Breast implants are not for everyone. For some they are a viable option, for others not so much. I wish I had done my research in my early-20s—asked more questions and considered my lifestyle before getting watermelons. I am pleased with where I have ended up, but wish I could have cut out this part of my life journey rather than going under the knife twice.