Turning 18 was a pivotal point in my life. It meant that I was finally legal, beginning my collegiate career, and that after years of waiting for my breasts to start growing, there was no longer a chance that I was a late bloomer.
I used to make fun of my college roommate for wearing a bra that resembled a training bra, but in all honesty, I should have been wearing those too. Attempts to speed my body along through birth control and weight gain were fruitless. I realized that I had two choices: get pregnant, and even that didn’t guarantee bigger breasts, or get plastic surgery.
After extensive research, I scheduled my surgery for a July morning. I had felt nothing but excitement leading up to that day. But then as I was minutes away from the surgery, I truly realized what I was about to do. My body began to twitch with nerves. My mother sat by my side for as long as she was allowed and surprisingly she helped calm me down. She was the one trying to convince me to cancel my surgery. And yet, on that morning, she was the one telling me that it would be okay.
Since the operation was performed with a general anesthesia, I can’t say that I remember anything about the actual procedure. Both of my arms were strapped to the operating table, only intensifying my fears, and I was told to count backwards from ten. The last thing I remember is counting to nine.
I spoke with a number of women before the surgery, all of whom told me the pain wasn’t as bad as they expected. Three words: They were wrong. I have never before experienced the level of pain I felt when I awoke from my surgery. However, by the third day, the pain medication was no longer necessary.
I spent the first couple of days sleeping, waking up only for meals. Then ten days later I returned to work, though I probably could have returned earlier. I felt a constant heavy feeling in my chest for a few weeks. It was difficult to keep my shoulders straightened out. Even using something as simple as a stapler required extra effort.
It took up to a year for my new breasts to take on their final shape and size. I’m now a small C-cup, and it looks so “natural” that nobody can tell the difference. It actually took me a few months to accept this new change in my body. I caught a glance of my breasts a few days post-surgery, and I refused to look at them again for about a month.
The scars and rock-hard shape and feel that they had in the beginning of my recovery really scared me. During that month I began to feel some regret about my decision but I had read that this was a normal initial reaction. Once I got over my fear of looking at them, and they began to soften up and take shape, I absolutely loved them.
There are many people who are firmly against plastic surgery, but the procedure has boosted my self-esteem immensely. I’m no longer self-conscious about the size of my breasts. I can now wear non-padded bras with confidence.
There are plenty of women who are happy with their small breasts, but I was never able to accept mine. I had a breast augmentation for only myself and not to change the way anybody else viewed me. Plastic surgery can be done tastefully, and I have absolutely no regrets.
Thinking of going under the knife before walking the graduation stage?
The Facts of Plastic
Elissa Washuta > University of Maryland College Park > Senior > English
Breast augmentation has become the most popular surgical procedure in the United States, but the procedure is riskier than many prospective candidates realize. If you are considering implants, understand the possible complications.
- Necessary removal or replacement due to rupture or other complications.
- Hardening of the breast, changes in breast shape, nerve damage and wrinkling may occur.
- Removal can dramatically change the appearance and feel of the breasts.
- If procedure occurs before breast development has finished, changes to the breasts are often irreversible.
*Originally published in College Magazine’s print publication, Fall 2007 issue.
*Personal narrative portion of the article was written by an anonymous student.