29 May 2006

Debbie Barnard, 29, a social worker from Telford, had a breast enlargement at The Harley Medical Group after spending years filling her bras with ‘chicken fillets'.

B Magazine‘I went up two bra sizes to look curvy on the beach'

Debbie Barnard, 29, a social worker from Telford, had a breast enlargement at The Harley Medical Group after spending years filling her bras with ‘chicken fillets'.‘You've no idea how embarrassing it is to stuff your bra when you're in your twenties, but at 27 and with a 34A chest, I had no choice. I'm only a size six, so being flat-chested meant I looked like a little girl and couldn't bear to look at my boobs in the mirror. ‘It was actually my partner of 10 years, David, who suggested surgery. We'd been talking about going on holiday, when I burst into tears and told David there was no way I was going on another holiday where I would worry about the silicone pads in my bra coming out in the sea! David said he understood and asked how I felt about having breast implants. We've been together long enough for him to know how insecure I was about my body, and I knew that he loved me for who I was, not for the size of my chest. I'd no doubt David was suggesting the operation to boost my self-esteem, not because he wanted to change me. ‘We found the Harley Medical Group on the internet and took out a loan to pay for the operation, which cost £3,600. It meant that we would have to put off our holiday until the following year but we knew it would be worth it. I told my parents, my best friend and my colleagues at work, as I would be taking two weeks off. Once I explained how desperately I wanted the operation, everyone was really supportive. I couldn't wait to have the surgery! Friends tried to put me off by showing me magazines featuring horror stories about implants that had exploded or gone wrong, but it didn't work. I knew it was a risk, but I was happy with the surgeon we'd chosen, and if something did happen to go wrong, I knew I was strong enough to deal with it. ‘I decided to go up two cup sizes. Boosting my bra size to 34C, as the most important thing for me was being in proportion and there didn't seem much point in going through an operation to only be one size bigger. David travelled to London with me for the operation, but he was on his way to France for work, so I was left on my own. ‘During the surgery, a small incision was made under each breast and silicone implants were inserted. When I came round afterwards, I was confused and thought I was still waiting to go into theatre. I was aware of a painful ache, and when I looked down I saw this massive pair of boobs! They hadn't had time to settle, so they were really hard - I felt like I had two bricks strapped to my chest. I had a moment of panic when the implants just stayed in one place when I moved around, but the surgeon assured me they would start moving naturally with my body and after a while they did. I couldn't lift my arms as this would pull on the breast tissue, and I had to be helped to the toilet. I wanted David to be there to give me a hug as I was feeling really emotional and wanted someone to reassure me that everything was alright. But there was a phone in my room, so I called my mum, who comforted me. ‘It took about six weeks for the swelling to go down completely, and I wondered whether it was worth the wait and the pain (I took painkillers to help). But now I'm used to my implants and there's hardly any scarring - just a tiny pink mark under each breast. As soon as I could, I bought loads of new vest tops and proudly wore them without a bra - something I never thought I'd do. We're finally able to have that holiday and are off to Turkey in a few weeks. I've got so much more confidence now I don't think people are staring at my flat chest. I'm so happy with my new shape I'm thinking about going topless on the beach for the first time.'
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