So, I have always had somehow unlatching breasts,...
So, I have always had somehow unlatching breasts, with my right breast being noticeably bigger than my left. I would say my right has been a D cup while my left a C. With having my two boys and extended breastfeeding involved, followed by weight gain and yoyo dieting, my whole body and certainly my breasts have been a mess. I have always looked at plastic surgery wonderingly, wishing I had the guts (and the money) to have breast implants. But they just were not for me. Hence the first time I heard of fat transfer, my ears pricked! LOL. I have been researching this on and off for over two years and then in 2015, happened to chance on Realself.com. That was quite something and I don't believe a day has gone by without me coming on here to look up one thing or another. It was during one such research that I read about 'cosmetic tourism' or something like that. So I started research and although there is not that much information online, Singelberg Clinic in Belgium seemed to have quite good reviews. Most importantly, I could not find any complaints about work done there. And then when I looked at their fees, my, oh my! I could actually afford it! I gave myself a couple more months to do further research and really decide if I wanted to commit to this procedure, even though there was no doubt in my mind, really, LOL. It was a good thing that because Dr Oelbrandt is based in Belgium, he offers online or even photographic consultations. I therefore sent him my pics and he responded with yes indeed, lipo and fat transfer to the breasts was possible on me. Still, I though a face to face consultation would be useful just to make sure we were on the same track as I would not want to travel to Belgium based on commendations made from photos. I therefore booked a consultation for one of the weekends that the doctor was going to be in London.
London Consultation with Dr O.
I had my consultation in Central London on 6/2/16 at 6.20pm. We arrived a little bit early but were not seen until about 6.40pm. The consultation was supposed to take 30 mins but when mine started I saw why Dr O was running a bit late. He gave my husband and I full attention and time, even though the receptionist interrupted a couple of times to prompt him about timing. Dr O pointed out issues with my body which surgery cannot correct (including a hernia and my posture) and advised how to start on getting these sorted - seat ups! :((. I had prior to this consultation received copious information via email about everything to do with my surgery and an estimate on the cost. At this consultation, Dr O confirmed this cost and also agreed a fixed exchange rate in case I wanted to pay by euro - he was actually generous, agreeing an exchange rate of 1.3 euro to a pound, even though the rate at that time was a bit less. I was satisfied with my consultation and went on to confirm my date at the Singleberg Clinic in Beveren, Belgium for 10/3/2016 at 1.00pm.
The Procedure - or what I know of it...
So, We travelled London to Belgium by car on 10/03/2016. We got to France and put 'Beveren' into the satnav. True, it gave three options for Beveren and without thinking I picked the first option. WRONG MOVE! Turns out there are various 'Beverens' in Belgium. So there we are, having driven about 70km from Dunkirk, at Beveren looking for Singelberg Clinic and having no luck and seeing we are 30 mins late for my 1pm appointment, I decided to give Dr O a call for some directions. Once I explained to him where we were, Dr O says - I think you are in the wrong town....WHAT??? The Correct Beveren was about an hour or 80km away. So we were back on the road and trying to find the right Beveren, not far from Antwerp and Sint NIkalas. Finally got there an hour and a half after my procedure was supposed to have started. Dr O, the anaesthetist and the nurse were still kindly waiting. I won't repeat the jibes we got for turning up in the wrong town, but they all good naturally just got on with the job at hand. Dr O marked me up and this was when he pointed out that although I had said I wanted chin lipo, he did not think I had enough chin fat to see a noticeable improvement, so he would not advise on it. I accepted this advise and asked if I could replace the chin lipo with inner thigh lipo. Dr O informed me that taking off the chin lipo would take off £150 from my bill while adding the inner thigh lipo would add an extra £200 to my bill. I accepted the £200 addition to have my inner thigh done. I should point out that from initial consultation to this final consultation, Dr O had informed me I was to be under twilight sedation. Now my understanding of twilight is that I would be drowsy and not feel anything but still be conscious and be able to turn around when needed to on the operating table. I was sure Dr O had also explained twilight to me as such. Anyway, my experience turned out different. I got into the OR probably around 3pm, and the kind nurse disinfected me very gently and respectfully, she then got me to lie on the operating table face down and the anaesthetist came in. He also was very kind, polite and humorous, with more jokes about us going to the wrong town, all while I tried to apologise for keeping them waiting all that while. The staff at SIngelberg Clinic were nice.
So the anaesthetist explained to me again that he was going to put a cannula into my hand into which my drip was to be fitted for my sedation. I was sure he again said it was to calm me down but not to put me fully to sleep. He went ahead and inserted the cannula which was not painful at all. Just a pinch. He then said one or two things to me to which I responded and that is the last I know of the whole procedure. I vaguely recall at some point being in the car and my husband pointing out to me there were steps ahead of us. But that is it. I recall nothing until I woke up around midnight on my hotel bed, hungry like mad.
So around midnight on the first day, I was awake and hungry and luckily my husband was able to order us some food from a restaurant not far from the hotel. While waiting for this, I went to the loo and had my first look at my breasts which were the only part not covered up. First look and I thot oh, no... the asymmetry I wanted to correct was still very obvious to me. I should say during my consultations with Dr O, he had advised the way to correct asymmetry was to inject the smaller breast as much as possible with fat and to then fill up the bigger breast to where it was the size of the smaller one. I went with the Dr's advise. But when I saw my breasts after the procedure, my bigger breast looked to me still quite droopy and like not much had been done to it, while d smaller breast looked nice and full and beautiful. I had no pain and no swelling at this point so I was able to see it clearly, I thot. I was not very happy with my breasts. However, I could see that my stomach already looked somehow flatter (even though I had the CG on and my buttocks looked sort of smoother, which was another result I was looking forward to). I called my husband to have a look at the breasts and he said he really could not tell at that point, but said he thought they both looked beautiful. So I thot I would just eat, go back to sleep (I was still quite drowsy) and look again tomorrow. I will upload the pics I took dt night here now.
Day 2 Post-Op...
I woke up with some aches and pains, but not a lot. My husband was waiting with the painkillers and he advised I take them and not wait for the pain to set in, so I did. I could now feel the tightness in my chest, my belly and my thighs. I could also see some swelling to my breasts. Still, what kept hitting me was the continuing asymmetry to my breasts :((... Now I was not expecting miracles, but I expected some difference at least. Looking at it again and again, I wished Dr O had just filled up d larger breast because I would have preferred them both full and asymmetrical rather than one full, one half full and STILL asymmetrical. (I discussed this with Dr O at my post op the next day and he informed me he actually used up all d fat they had taken out of me - wow, and here I thot I had sooooo much fat to play around with, being medically obese at 5'4 and 185 pounds in weight, lol.) So it seems deciding how much to put into each breast was a judgement call Dr O made and I certainly can see the sense in dt. I just wish it had turned out better. Dr O still believes the smaller breast will 'take' the extra fat, lose some and droop a little anyway, so I should end up with a result closer to what I would want. Dr O advised at my post-op that we give the standard 3-6 months, see how the breasts progress and then we can see what else might be needed, possibly further fat transfer to balance the breasts out.
Trip into Town
So once I had woken up on day two and taken my pain killer, I really did not feel so bad. We therefore decided to go for a slow and short walk in town. I felt drowsy at first and I thot although it might have been d procedure, it might also have been because I had not had much to eat for over 24 hours, LOL. So I stopped and got some carbs-filled snack and munched on this as we started our walk. I must say I immediately felt stronger. Our short walk which started with me taking short, painful steps turned into about three hours long and the pain gradually just subsided. I really enjoyed the day out and although I had my painkillers with me, I did not feel the discomfort I constantly had was enough for me to take them. Hence I only took the painkillers once we got back to our hotel about 4 hours after we left and I was absolutely fine. However, getting into and out of the car was a feat in endurance. The pain was deep. And so with sitting and standing anywhere. But apart from dt I actually constantly forgot I had just had a procedure done.
Trip into Town
I got a sports bra in a size large. Turned out too big but it was really nice and comfortable to use so have kept it. Also, wearing this made me see more the improvement to both of my breasts from the Procedure. No way would they have stood so well in such sports bra before. Lol. They would probably have been peeping thru d bottom of it.