Julie* from Hull had breast reduction surgery with Mrs Effie Katerinaki. Read her story…
Ever since I was a teenager I have always had large breasts and upon turning 30 and having two children, things started to go south. Not only was I fed up with having to lug them around with me all the time, but I was sick of having to buy big horrible bras – there is nothing sexy about big thick straps!
After having my second child I had hoped that exercise would help to make my breasts smaller, but unfortunately while the rest of me shrunk, my breasts did not. Surprisingly, it was my mum that suggested getting the breast reduction surgery, after seeing how unhappy I was. She had come across The Westbourne Centre online while looking at another procedure and was impressed with the idea of local anaesthetic and sedation. She advised that it would be perfect for me due the short recovery time – I have two children and a full time job so very little time to stop!
The decision for me was easy as I’d already had cosmetic surgery, having previously had a rhinoplasty (nose job) when I was younger. However, I gave myself a year to really think about it to be sure and I was certain after this time that it was the right decision for me. After the year was up I was more than certain it was the right choice for me - not even the three-hour journey could put me off!
My consultation was with Mrs Effie Katerinaki, who would the surgeon performing my surgery, and I have to say she was lovely as was the clinic! Not only was Effie knowledgeable, she was also very honest and really accommodating.
During the consultation, we talked about the procedure and what it would entail, such as how fast I would come around after the procedure and how it works. Having done a lot of research about the breast reduction surgery myself, I also had some questions which Effie was able to answer with ease. She also showed me before and after pictures and I was amazed at just how good these women looked, especially when there boobs were much bigger than mine.
Her honesty was very refreshing and I really appreciated her professional opinion. Initially I wanted to go from a G to a B but Effie advised that my shape would be more suited to a DD. This showed me that I was more than just a pay cheque to Effie, she actually cared about my well-being and wasn’t afraid to tell me no.
Due to the distance from Hull to Birmingham we had a second consultation over the phone, so that I wouldn’t have to make the long journey again (usually this would be done in person). Following this, I was completely happy to go ahead with the surgery and I told Effie that if she could get me in for the surgery on Christmas day I would be there! However, for some reason Effie wanted that day off, so I settled for the beginning of January instead.
I travelled down to Birmingham the day before my surgery and stayed in a hotel near to The Westbourne Centre with my mum. On the day of the surgery I headed straight to The Westbourne Centre where they prepared me for my operation.
All the nurses were lovely and they made me feel welcome and at ease. Effie came to visit me and drew over me with a pen which felt a bit odd, normally it’s my daughters that do things like that and they get in trouble for it! Once this was over, I was introduced to the anaesthetist and he explained what he would be doing during the procedure.
As I walked down to the theatre I didn’t feel nervous at all and the nurses were with me every step of the way, helping me to feel reassured. Once I sat down on the bed, I spread out my arms on both sides (in a sort of Jesus position, if you will), the team then placed a sheet over me so that I wouldn’t see any of the gore from the surgery. The very last thing I remember is putting the oxygen mask over my face and the surgeon making a joke about the sedation feeling ‘nice and airy’ like after one or two gin and tonics!
When surgery was over, two lovely nurses surrounded me with very warm, blow-up duvet. This felt lovely, so lovely that in fact I think I need one for at home too! My blood pressure following the surgery was very low which concerned the nurses slightly so I was advised to drink lots and lots of water. The nurses were completely supportive and in no way did they rush me out of the building, instead they insisted I took my time and did things at my own pace.
After a while, my blood pressure normalised and I was allowed to leave The Centre but not before I ate some biscuits and had a cup of coffee – minus the whole surgery part it was a bit like a spa! As I left I was given an emergency number for The Centre so that I could contact them should there be any issues.
On the evening after my surgery my mum and I had dinner, after which I noticed that there was some bleeding. To give myself piece of mind I rang the emergency number and explained my situation to a lovely nurse who advised that I lie down and put pressure on it. What was then amazing is that she rang back throughout the rest of the evening to check on me. Meanwhile my mum brought extra bandages to help.
The next morning, I visited The Westbourne Centre and they removed the extra badges. I was happy to see that no blood has seeped through to the new badges. To help manage the pain I took codeine and ibuprofen regularly for 24 hours. A few days after the procedure I stopped taking them completely as the pain has subsided and a week later I was back to work!
A week after the procedure I visited The Westbourne Centre again, this time to have my badges taken off. It was a rather grand unveiling and I almost felt like the Queen should have been present! I was really pleased to see that the nurses who took care of me after the operation were taking care of me now. As well as removing the badges and giving me a check-up, they also gave me some advice on how to care for the scars.
A few weeks later, I found a painful lump in one of my boobs which concerned me. I spoke with Effie who advised me to come in to see her, although she did advise that she wasn’t worried. The lump, as Effie has suspected, was nothing to worry about and was in fact some blood that hadn’t dispersed correctly. She advised me to massage the area and said that the blood would break up on its own. During this visit Effie expressed that she was very happy with how my breasts had healed which was great news for me to hear!
I am so incredibly pleased with the results of my breast reduction surgery. It has changed my life for the better! I have so much more confidence now and I’m able to wear whatever I like.
The previous summer, bikini shopping almost gave me a nervous breakdown but this year I went out and bought tiny little ones without a worry in the world! I can now wear spaghetti strapped tops and backless dresses without thinking twice, making shopping a dream.
My friends and family were all very happy for me and some of my other big chested friends are now looking to get surgery after seeing how well mine turned out! Even now after months of having my new boobs, I sometimes forget and am more than thrilled when I catch sight of them in the mirror!
My daughters who are still very young knew about my surgery to a certain extent and were told that ‘mummy had poorly boobies’. However, when they are older I plan to be open and honest with them about my surgery and would happily tell them to go ahead with surgery were they to be blessed (or cursed in my opinion) with large breasts like mine.
I have no regrets whatsoever about my surgery and believe that I waited until exactly the right time and I cannot think of one negative at all about my experience at The Westbourne Centre.
*Name changed for anonymity