And why I got breast implants / How plastic surgery help regain my confidence postpartum
I always knew my body would change during pregnancy but what I didn’t expect was the change that came postpartum. After breastfeeding two beautiful daughters, one of whom I breastfed for almost 2 years, I noticed my breast size start to shrink. From a nicely filled A cup, to nothing.
This change broke me in many ways. Being a woman and having no breasts made me feel incomplete. I felt like I lost my femininity and with it, my self-esteem. I lived in constant embarrassment. I would walk on the streets and envy women with boobs. To me, they looked like women, while I felt like a guy. My clothes stopped fitting well, so I got new clothes, bigger ones that would hide my figure. I stopped wearing bikinis. I wouldn’t even go to the water, for fear of my swimwear hugging my body revealing my flat chest.
I started to search for things that could help me. Hacks, as they would call it. I bought breast pads to fill in my now empty bra. It gave me additional volume but whenever I would bend down, my loose tops would open and expose the padding. And if I’m in a wired bra, people will be able to see my nipples through the gap. Getting ready was a tiring process. So I would always just result back to my loose tops to hide my insecurity.
Buying bras were a pain. I would go to the store not even knowing what my bra size was. The store assistant would measure me and recommend a size. In my head I knew this wasn’t even accurate, since I knew she measured me with a bra on, which in fact, had a lot of padding. I would be embarrassed to ask for a smaller size so I would just walk away. I gave up underwired bras altogether since it had nothing to hold on to and would shift around my body making me take several trips to the bathroom to make sure my bra was in place.
I battled with this for 6 years. I was afraid people would think I was shallow for feeling this way. But I knew that I was a naturally confident woman and if there was something that was stealing my confidence, then it was something I should address. I deserved to feel beautiful in my own skin. I deserved to embrace my femininity and feel like a woman again in my own way.
In search of freedom
I wanted to free myself from the confines of my negative self-image, and I knew that no one could do this for me, but myself. When my kids were young I gave them 100% of my time. But now that my kids are a little old-er, I have more time for myself. I could take care of myself again. I watched Korean dramas, listen to Korean music and got exposed to k-pop culture. This opened my eyes to plastic surgery. I never saw this as an option for myself until I started researching more and realising that breast augmentation might be the solution. This may be what I have been looking for for years, and so I set myself on a path of discovery that brought me to my much-anticipated freedom.
Finding the right surgeon
I was excited to go on this journey so I began researching about plastic surgeons. I always thought that Korea would be cheaper for breast augmentation. After asking some friends for recommendations, they pointed me to a reputable Korean surgeon. But when I got a quotation, the full amount with flight tickets and accommodation came out to be around the same price as what I would be paying if I had it done in Singapore. Having plastic surgery abroad also meant being able to stay long enough for postoperative reviews. This didn’t seem very feasible for me.
After much contemplation, I decided to do it locally instead. It would be easier for me to manage the entire process from surgery to recovery. It also felt like it would be better for my safety because I can always visit my surgeon anytime should I need medical attention afterwards.
So I refocused my research on surgeons here. I looked around the Internet for reviews and first-hand experiences, but most of what I found went for bigger-sized boobs, which wasn’t the look that I wanted. So I thought why not make a choice based on the plastic surgeon’s profiles instead.
I shortlisted 3 plastic surgeons, all mid-40s and above. My research and instincts pointed me to Dr Vincent Yeow. Though now he operates at Dream Plastic Surgery, he was previously the head of KKH’s plastic surgery department. This gave me faith in him. Because if he could head a team of plastic surgeons, then he is definitely more than just capable. Also, with his more than 20 years of experience, it made me feel safe to consult with someone who was a senior in his field. I also remembered seeing him on a plastic surgery program on TV, which gave me even more confidence that I have found the right surgeon. At this stage, I have set my mind on pursuing breast augmentation and arranged my consultation with Dr Vincent Yeow.
My consultation experience
During my consultation at Dream Plastic Surgery, I had to remove my top so Dr. Vincent can take some measurements. Even with a female nurse in the room, I felt uncomfortable. I felt like they would laugh at my chest size or think that they have never seen anyone so flat chested before, etc. Again, all the fears in my head started playing out. It took me a while to have the courage to take out my top and start the process.
As we began the consultation, he got me to stand in front of this mirror in his consult room while he explains my body structure. He explained how he had to balance one side of my chest with the other as we are all a little asymmetrical, etc. I thought this consultation method was really good because I got to see what was going on through the reflection as he explained.
Dr Vincent went on to recommend the different types of implant profiles. He explained how it could go under the muscle, etc. I told him to just recommend that size and method he thought was best. Something that would fit me well and look the most natural. I wanted something that fit my body proportions well because I didn’t want it to be too big and look fake. I told him I didn’t want two coconuts, especially on a skinny petite Asian lady.
Given this, he recommended a few sizes and I tried on some silicone boobs under a sports bra to get a feel of the size. He said that those options would make me look more balanced between the top (boobs) with the bottom (derriere). I never thought of that, but he had an excellent point! Eventually, I settled for something that will bring my size up to a full B cup.
On the day of my surgery, the nurse led me into the surgery theatre, where I laid in bed and was covered with a blanket to keep me warm. The anesthesiologist made me count to ten and before I knew it, I was knocked out.
I woke up groggy and remembered one of the nurses coming over to check on me and told me to rest for a while more to let the anaesthesia wear off before they could walk me to my waiting room. It was unlike what I heard from friends who mentioned that the nurses in Korea will shake your arm to wake you up so you could quickly vacate the room for another patient. Also, the nurses will get you to walk on your own even if you’re still groggy. I knew that I had a better experience here than if I had it done in Korea. I felt like I was in good hands and it made me confident that I made the right decision of having my breast augmentation done here instead.
I once had a minor procedure where I ended up throwing up badly because of the anaesthesia. I was expecting the same to happen to me but surprisingly I was fine. I was groggy but had no nausea and pain. It was definitely a better experience than what I had previously. In fact, it felt like I just woke up from a really deep sleep.
Before discharge, the nurse came into my recovery room, walked me to the mirror and for the first time, I saw myself. I couldn’t describe what I felt at that moment. But it was as if a major weight has been lifted off me. A weight I carried for 6 years, gone. My femininity restored and for the first time in a while, I saw myself and felt absolutely beautiful. Absolutely complete.
A healthy recovery
For the first 7 days, I had painkillers and the discomfort was manageable. Any action that used the chest muscles, like twisting caps, would cause some pain. I had to shower very slowly. There was some itching around the wound. But other than those, everything else was manageable.
7 days later, I had my first post-op review. I went back to have my stitches removed. Dr Vincent mentioned that everything looked fine. I had minimal swelling left and it should be gone soon. I didn’t need any pain killers at this point.
For the next 1.5 weeks, I felt some slight discomfort and tightness but I was able to manage without painkillers. My boobs felt a little high, but I was told that they will settle down in time. It also felt firm, that will settle in time too.
After 1 month, I went back to Dream for my second review and my boobs lowered in position. It looks more natural and it felt softer! I was told that my recovery was very good and that things will still continue to improve.
After 2 months, my body was back to normal. I got used to my implants and felt comfortable with it. Scars have also appeared lighter in colour and I know it will continue to lighten. My boobs felt softer. The implants were sitting at a natural position now. I was happy to see all these improvements.
A renewed sense of beauty
I struggled with low self-esteem for many years. I felt like I was imprisoned by my own thoughts and lack of self-confidence. Going through this journey has freed me from all of those. Once, I felt helpless, now I feel in-charge of myself, my confidence and my beauty.
Making the decision to have breast augmentation gave me a renewed sense of courage and power. Knowing that I could do something about my dilemma was empowering. To those who have been struggling with self-image, like me, I encourage you to take control and not be afraid to find ways to address it. Because the power is in you to make the decisions you think is best for your life.
I never thought I would get plastic surgery. But I’m happy that I changed my mind. I did not just enhance my body but also my femininity, confidence, social life, marriage and my relationship with myself. Having gone through breast augmentation myself, I experienced firsthand, how this decision changed my life for the better. Plastic Surgery is not taboo if you do it for the right reasons.
When we don’t feel good and confident about ourselves, we become our worst critic and put ourselves down. After my surgery, I no longer feel that way. I no longer put myself down for the way I look. My new-found confidence has boosted my self-esteem and I feel better psychologically, emotionally and physically.
Because now, after 6 long years, I can finally look at myself in the mirror… naked, and feel absolutely and 100% confident.
As I look back at my whole experience, I feel nothing but extreme gratitude towards Dr Vincent Yeow and the nursing team at Dream Plastic Surgery for taking care of me in the best way possible.
For those who are interested to check out Dr Vincent Yeow’s Clinic, I’ve left the details below.
Dream Plastic Surgery