Breast surgery in the UK has become a popular trend

‘I felt like a monster’

The implants inserted during cosmetic surgery. Credit: Rex Features

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) says that in 2012, 4,217 women had breast reduction, and a further 9,843 women underwent breast augmentation.

This shows that breast surgery in the UK is not uncommon and has become a popular trend.

But one KU student wishes that she never had to go under the knife.

However, for 20-year-old Kerry the operation was for medical reasons as her breasts had developed at an uneven pace, leaving one a cup size DD and the other a B.

"The bigger the difference became, the harder it was to hide. I was devastated," Kerry – whose name has been changed for personal reasons – says. "I didn’t feel like a girl.

"I would spend a lot of time upset and cry a hell of a lot. My mood just got lower and lower."

Kerry talks about times at sleepovers with friends when she would try to cover herself up with baggy pyjamas.

You can hear the emotion as she explains how she constantly wore a bra to make her breasts look even, and wouldn’t even take it off at home.

'I was terrified'

Three years later she feels happier with her appearance, but thinking back to that time still cuts deep.

"I was so humiliated – I felt like a mutant or a monster," she says. "I hated changing for PE and would try to skip those days."

Kerry previously went to an all-girls school, but at 16 she began college where she was now in a mixed sex environment and started to become interested in boys.

"It was a hustle and bustle of different social scenarios. I was exposed to the drinking culture, relationships and one night stands. The gossip I was used to at my grammar school had nothing on the sex scandals that happened weekly at college," she says.

"I became friends with a group of people, a few of whom were boys. They were attracted to me.

"I was terrified. I didn’t want the attention and have the situation where they would notice my chest. I felt like the boys were staring at my wonky chest."

Kerry’s sister bought her socks and chicken fillet breast enhancers to pad her bras but this only pointed out a huge flaw which brought her to tears.

"A girl once said, ‘it’s like a grape and a melon’. I would laugh it off but inside I was devastated and I never told anyone again. It is comments like that will stick with me."

Kerry became incredibly shy and avoided a lot of social events, as before her treatment she felt ugly.

Vanity

Every day another star seems to go under the surgeon’s knife in a vain bid to improve their looks.

A long list, from The Hills star Heidi Montag to Pamela Anderson, have admitted to turning to surgery. Recently, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here star, Lucy Pargeter, said she had surgery on her breasts and stomach because of insecurities.

Consultant plastic surgeon, Neil Bulstrode, from Great Ormond Street says breast surgery is not only for appearance. He says that there are health benefits which we often do not consider.

"At first glance plastic surgery may seem to be purely cosmetic but it can change a patient’s life so positively," he says.

"If you can improve a patient’s confidence, it will change their trajectory in life."

Thinking back to the time before the operations is difficult for Kerry, but she feels as though speaking about her situation will help others who may be in a similar situation .

Before the operation Kerry spoke to people with similar problems on online forums, but this made her feel worse. The symptoms of having an uneven chest were a possible indicator of breast cancer which terrified her more. Fortunately this was not the case, and surgery was able to fix the problem for her.

"To have a boob job felt quite vain to me – I was afraid that I would be seen as some sort of air headed Barbie doll," she says.

She found the process leading up to surgery challenging, especially having her medical photos taken.

"This involved being topless," she says. "This was the hardest part and I felt disgusted with myself."

Going under the knife

At 17 she had the implant put into her chest on one side, which was completed in two operations.

She had to continue to return each month to have saline solution injected into her body to stretch the skin, muscles and tissues in her chest. This was done about seven times until her chest was even. Kerry then had to go for a second operation to replace her implant as because of the constant injections and stretching it had hardened making it uncomfortable to sleep.

"After the second operation I felt excited and very proud," she says. "Once the swelling and bruising went down I couldn’t stop looking at them in the mirror."

Kerry was fully discharged from hospital just before her 20th birthday and today she describes herself as much happier and more confident.

"I feel very feminine now and enjoy indulging in girly things," she says.

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