Procedure: Breast Uplift (full anchor lift)
Travelling from: London
Consultation room: London (Harley Street)
Surgery clinic: BeClinic in Brussels (Belgium)
Surgeon: Doctor Frank Plovier
Prices: surgery: £2,900; taxi + 3 nights hotel with breakfast (two people) + medicine: £480 (optional). Total of £3,380 to the clinic + train tickets London-Brussels-London and meals.
Surgery date: 03 October 2013
Patient age: 37 years old
Bra size pre-surgery: 30G UK
Bra size post-surgery: not sure yet, sill wearing my surgical bra which is 34C UK
Tip 1: I used the all inclusive package (medicine, taxis and hotel included) as I didn’t‘t want to worry about logistics during such an important and potentially stressful event. I‘m now glad I did that and I recommend it to anyone thinking about going ahead with the procedure.
Tip 2: Even though the normal package is two nights hotel I choose to say three nights as I worried about travelling back still in pain. That made the procedure a bit more expensive, and even tough I was just being extra-careful I now think it was worth it.
Tip 3: I didn’t’t particularly love the Panorama hotel for various reasons. First of all is a bit remote and the closest supermarket is 30 minutes away walking distance. I advise you take some food with you for first dinner after the surgery in case you don’t feel like eating in the restaurant the first night. Secondly, the beds are not really that comfortable, and when you need to spend most of your time in bed for recovery that’s important. The good thing about the Panorama hotel is that is close to the clinic and it’s quiet. But I now think I would have preferred a hotel near the shops where I could go for a walk and do some shopping a bit more easily.
My first consultation - 17th July 2013
After extensively scouting the internet and thinking and re-thinking it over and over again, I finally decided to book and appointment with Doctor Plovier in the London consultation room at Harley Street.
I had read a lot of good things about him, so I was quite at ease when I met him. The consultation was quick and matter of fact; just talking about the procedure, price and other practical aspects. The truth is that I had read so much on the issue that I didn’t have that many questions for him. Doctor Plovier told me that I would probably get a lollipop scar, something I was very pleased to hear as I had already resigned myself to and anchor scar.
My impression on Doctor Plovier was that he was serious, caring and professional, so I was happy as that's all I want in a surgeon.
After that first consultation it only took me a couple of days to decide to go for the surgery. I then emailed the BeClinic and started making arrangements. It was really easy dealing with the BeClinic team, they replied to all my emails really quickly and efficiently and were always very pleasant to deal with.
I have a more or less healthy life style, so the only change I had to do before the surgery was to take the vitamins that the clinic recommended. Other than that, I continued attending the gym and eating as normal.
Tip 4: If you can, please run a blood test at least a month before the surgery to detect any deficiency in vitamins, iron, etc…
I didn’t do it and I suffer from anaemia episodes every now and then. It turned out I was low in iron at the time. Something I could have easily avoided. Thankfully, it didn’t have any major impact in the recovery.
D-Day - 03rd October 2013 (surgery day)
I travelled by train with a friend. We had to leave London very early as the surgery was scheduled for 1 pm. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be, and as soon as I got there (about one hour earlier than expected) they promptly took care of me. Everything was so quick and well executed that I think I didn’t even have the time or opportunity to stress out. The clinic can’t be faulted, it’s clean and peaceful and the staff are lovely. I was quickly taken me to my room where they gave me some aroma therapy scent to help me relax, then Doctor Plover came in and did all the necessary drawings on my breasts. Before I knew it I was in the operating theatre where the staff tried their best to help me stay calm.
The operation took about three hours. I remember I woke up shaking uncontrollably as I was freezing. I was quickly moved to my room where they turned the bed heating on. I was really sleepy at the beginning and was finding a bit difficult to come out of the anaesthesia. Thankfully my friend and the nurse did a good job of trying to keep me awake. The pain was not as bad as I had expected, if anything it was more like a stinging sensation than anything else. Still, I had some discomfort, so the nurse gave me some pain killers before the pain could set in. I had woken up with my surgical bra already on, and even though I couldn’t‘t see anything underneath it, I could immediately see that my breasts where set a lot higher up that they had been before the surgery. Happy smile there. J
Doctor Plovier came to check on me soon after I woke up, it was then that I found out that he had had to go for an anchor scar as my skin elasticity wasn’t good enough for a lollipop scar. I was a tiny bit disappointed, but in a way I had expected it, so it wasn’t that bad. The good thing about the anchor scar is that it provides longer lasting results. Besides, I was so glad that the surgery was over that I didn’t really care much about anything at that point.
It took me about three hours to completely wake up from the anaesthesia, so it was seven thirty when they were finally able to get me in the taxi and take me to the hotel.
At that time I felt well enough to seat for a few minutes with my friend in the hotel outdoor terrace. I think I could had stayed there for a while if it wasn’t for a yellow pill that the nurse had placed under my tongue just before I got in the taxi. To this day I still don’t know what that pill was made off, but I suddenly couldn’t keep my eyes open and my friend had help me to get to the room, which was actually great, as I then slept for two or three more hours.
When I woke up after that I was feeling pretty well, with no pain at all. I then had some dinner that my friend had bought while the surgery was happening. High five to him, that was an very good idea. I was still quite sleepy, so after having dinner, watching some TV and taking the painkillers that I had been prescribed, I went to sleep. Again.
That first night I slept more or less well. I woke up with some discomfort about every four hours, which was the time I had between takes. I would take the pills and go to sleep again, so that was fine.
In fact, that day in general had been better than expected and my friend’s support just invaluable. So happy so far I was!
Tip 5: I strongly advise that you take someone you trust with you if you can. It's so important to have some help you with simple things like carrying your luggage, getting your socks on, or going to supermarket. Also to offer you some moral support and company.
If for whatever reason you must travel alone, please try to travel as light as possible, you don't want to be lifting a heavy suitcase around after the procedure.
Also, try to wear comfortable, easy to change clothes and shoes. Beware that you upper body movement will be somehow restricted for a few days.
Tip 6: Probably better not to buy the silicone sheets before the operation unless your surgeon is confident on the type of lift that you'll get. I assumed that I would get a lollipop scar but ended up with a full anchor scar so the sheets I had bought were not exactly what I needed. Since you won't be able to use the sheets for about three or four weeks anyway, there is really no need to buy them in advance.
Remaining days in Brussels - 04th October 2013 to 06th October 2013 (1st to 3rd day post surgery)
The first few days after the surgery went better that I had expected. I was a little bit soared and tired, but more than anything I was terrified of moving too much or too fast. I have to admit that I’m a bit a apprehensive, so I might have obsessed with doing my best to help the healing process. I didn’t want to take any chances with the scars so I kept my upper body movements to a minimum. I wore the surgical bra all the time, and even if the doctor said I could take it off for showering I didn’t. I just washed myself around the bra with wet towels. As I said I’m very apprehensive, and I actually didn’t dare taking that bra off until the tenth day post surgery.
I have to say here that I had caught the flu (or a really bad cold) before the procedure, and that the symptoms started to show on my first day post surgery. I suspect that that made me feel more tired than you’d normally feel after the operation. Even tough, on the first day post surgery I was able to walk for about an hour (from the hotel to the supermarket and back), and the second day I was able to visit Brussels (if only for a short walk and lunch). I was tired and had to take a lot of breaks, but I managed.
Besides those two mini excursions, those two days went by while taking the prescribed medication, eating and lying in bed, reading, sleeping and watching TV. Sleeping on my back was awkward, but with two pillows I managed well enough.
Regarding the pain, the chest discomfort wasn’t so bad with the medication, but… I had quite a bad back ache. I still don’t know what caused it (maybe the flu?), but it wasn’t nice for the first two to three days. A few times I woke up in the middle of the night and had to seat in bed as the pain was so bad I couldn’t lay down.
I still don’t understand why my back was hurting so much, I don’t know if it was the pressure of the bra, a bad posture during the operation, the bad hotel bed, or the fact that I was sleeping on back and not changing posture much.
Anyway, day three arrived and before I knew it I was on the train back to London. As I said I had a bad cold, so the trip was a bit tiring, but boy, was I happy when I got home? I was so glad than I actually think I felt much better immediately. From this moment on the worst was over for me!