Plastic Surgery Diaries: What It’s Actually Like To Get Breast Implants

Samantha Stewart is a 23-year-old nursing student living in Sherman Oaks, California. 

“I had a breast augmentation done in 2010. My desired results for the procedure were to have somewhat “normal” body proportions. I felt that my body was not proportional and I wanted to achieve a fuller, more shapely look. My mother told me my whole life that my boobs would grow after I graduated high school. When my graduation came and gone and I still had no boobs, I asked her where they were, and why it was taking so long. She responded with the final truth, that hers were implants; prior to this conversation, I had no idea. This procedure involved making an incision along my areola, where the doctor would then make a pocket underneath the muscle of my pectorals, where he would then insert the implant into the pocket, and then carefully close the incision.

I found my surgeon through my mother, who has had two of these procedures done by two different doctors. I was convinced my mother was biased, so I had consultations with more than 6 different plastic surgeons, 2 of whom I met within my home country of South Africa. After a long search, I decided I was most comfortable with the surgeon my mother had in Orange County, California.

I only met with my surgeon twice before the procedure. The original visit was just an inquiry, that turned into a full consultation. The second visit was to go over details of the surgery, confirm fiscal details, and what to do the day of surgery. The procedure only took a few hours, and was done on outpatient basis. Outpatient means that I arrived one morning and left that same afternoon to recover at home. The full recovery is about 1 month, but you can return to work or school after 5-7 days. When I woke up, I was in a lot of pain. However, with the help of a dear friend, and painkillers, I was only in pain for about 2 days, and returned to school after 4 days. I ended up only missing one day of school, which is crazy to think about. I had to return for a follow up appointment 1 week after surgery, and again 1 month after surgery.

I was, and still am happy with the procedure 5 years later. There are times that I do feel uncomfortable though. I appreciate transparency as much as the next person, however every time I have a new boyfriend, there is an awkward period, where it’s like an elephant in the room. They either don’t want to ask, don’t know if it’s rude to ask, or can’t tell if they are even real or fake. That is a compliment, though, knowing that people aren’t even sure if my fake boobs are fake or not. Even so, it brings a small slice of shame that I never felt pre-surgery.

Overall, I am happy with the results. It has changed my life on a daily basis. I am happier trying on clothes, fitting into clothes, and I am more confident around my peers. I would warn others who wanted the procedure done, that you will have to have the procedure done every 10-15 years. I would also tell them that every person should love their body no matter what. However, if I told myself that pre-surgery, I would probably say it was still worth it.”

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