Generally, I like the way I look. Having worked hard to drop weight when I came to Korea I felt good about my body. As a tall woman with a muscular, athletic frame, I didn’t always feel very feminine in my looks. For the past 15 years I’ve worn a padded bra simply because my breasts never seemed to come in. It might surprise you how many times I, an accidental Korean Beauty Blogger and small potato on the K-Beauty influencer scene, have been approached about partnering up for plastic surgery. I never felt like anyone took enough time with me to assess my needs or ask me what I wanted, until chatting with Mona.
When Mona from Seoul Cosmetic Surgery asked to work together, I still had the same sort of response. I have had several friends go through the procedure, but just wasn’t sure it was for me. Did I really want foreign objects inside my body forever? Was I ready to leave Korea kicking myself at having not gone through with it? What if they were too big? What if they weren’t big enough? How would my family deal if there was a problem mid-surgery? What if I left my friends and family with a giant Korean mess on their hands? What were the right questions to ask? I wrote an article about what I was considering, and was met with a flurry of comments from supportive friends and aggressively anti-surgery threads.
Why Breast Implants Were the Right Choice For My Body
With all the negativity coming from Facebook comments, I actually received a number of private messages from women in similar situations. I had no idea that there was even a problem until my shirt came off and my doctor said that it would be a complicated surgery.
“Tuberous breasts (or tubular breasts) are a result of a congenital abnormality of the breasts which can occur in both men and women (also see Hypoplasia), one breast or both. During puberty breast development is stymied and the breasts fail to develop normally and fully.” – Panchapakesan V, Brown MH
It turns out that tuberous (also known as “tubular”, “herniated areolar complexes”, “conical breast”, “domen nipple”, “lower pole hypoplasia“, “hypoplastic breasts”, or “constricted” breasts) are pretty common. I always said my breasts looked like sad puppies, but I was unaware another term for these were “Snoopy breasts”. Now I was going from a consultation where I wasn’t even sure I wanted the surgery, to panicking that it wasn’t even going to be possible.
My TL Plastic Surgery Breast Implant Consultation with Seoul Plastic Surgery
Throughout this consultation, I got more information about the remaining steps should the breast augmentation surgery be approved by my surgeon to move forward. I would need to come in for one more consultation (for sizing and remaining questions), then a final appointment for a urine test, blood panel, and EKG (Electrocardiogram). After that, we’d take my “before” photos and get all set for surgery. Mona and Dean from Seoul Cosmetic Surgery were at TL Plastic Surgery with my surgeon, Dr. Yim Joonghyuk, and TL’s awesome English-speaking coordinator, Christina, for each appointment.
Breast Implants Concerns
My main concern when it came to the surgery was how I’d be “out” during throughout my breast implant procedure. It’s most common to be under general anesthesia, but I’ve heard of local anesthesia and sleep sedation for breast augmentation, too. It terrified me that there was a chance I’d wake up mid-surgery unable to communicate. I’m aware of how absolutely ridiculous that sounds, but I was signing myself up for elective plastic surgery. I’d be worried if I wasn’t worried at various steps throughout. What put my mind at ease was asking my plastic surgeon the following:
Questions to Ask a Breast Augmentation Plastic Surgeon
- What size would you recommend for my body type? Provided you’ve already researched your surgeon and are working with a trusted medical tourism company like Seoul Cosmetic Surgery, there’s no reason not to take your surgeon’s opinion on size at face value. My surgeon told me that he would want my Motiva breast implants to be, at minimum, 380 cc (if not more!) I thought this was going to be way too big since my friends had gotten only 300 and they looked like massive porn star breasts. Well, considering my current breasts, my height, my body type, and the size of my rib cage and wide shoulders, my doctor was right on the money. I should have gone bigger (maybe 400?), but am honestly very happy with the way my breast implants look. They have appeared very natural since the end of the 2nd week. I was able to go back to the gym then and start power walking without too much discomfort. Before the 2 month anniversary, I was able to run 5 km again.
- How will the implants be inserted? It’s very popular to go through the armpit in Korea because of Korean women’s small frames. For foreigners, under the breast insertion is recommended. This makes for a much less painful recovery, and a shorter one, too. The incision scars will also be less obvious.
- How large will you make the incisions? With Motiva breast implants, it’s actually possible to have very small incisions. This means your scars won’t be very obvious. Mine are only visible if I raise my arms above my head. They’re pretty dark, but only about 4 cm on each side. On instagram I’ve seen surgeons boasting about incisions as small as 3 cm, so I think we’re doing pretty well!
- How do I prepare for surgery? The only advice I got for this was not to smoke (I don’t smoke) or drink a week before surgery. I think more than that it’s important to prepare your body to undergo general anesthesia. Get 8 hours of sleep. Hit the gym. Eat healthy foods and avoid unnecessary junk. Hey – I can’t do it all the time, but when going under the knife it really helped to train my body and prepare properly.
- How do I take care of myself post-surgery? Take it easy! Listen to your body and don’t over-do it, but also don’t baby yourself too much. Try to get back to regular, healthy, daily activities. It’s recommended that you don’t smoke and don’t drink for about a month. This really depends on how long they’ve got you on painkillers. Many doctors say you can return to almost all regular activity (yes- that kind)once you’re off pain medication.
- What do I do with the stitches? Nothing! Just like when I had my appendix removed, my stitches were dissolvable. The roughest part of surgery is not being able to properly shower for a week. You must protect the incisions with waterproof bandaids. After a week, you’ll be able to shower. The surgical glue will fall off naturally when ready. In the shower you’ll need to softly rub it away. Make sure to follow up with bio-oil or vitamin E to treat the scarred area.
- How often will I have follow up appointments? TL Plastic Surgery is very thorough and beyond the “after” photos and general check-ups, they also offered 3 laser treatments as part of my package. These are to help speed up the healing of my incision scars. I was scared, but they took all of 5 minutes and didn’t hurt a bit.
- What kind of medication do I need to take? I was given a prescription for Tylenol 3 which includes codeine. I had some discomfort, but no real pain. I didn’t really want to take the pain medication, but felt it might improve the effects of the swelling. After 2 days it was back to work for me, so I stopped. I had 2 days of antibiotics cocktails 3 times a day, then a pack once a day for 2 weeks. I was also on a pill a day to ensure the implant itself didn’t harden. That’s something I took once a day for 2 months.
How Big Are My Breast Implants?
The most common regret when it comes to breast augmentation procedures (or a “boob job”) is not going big enough. Throughout my consultation I tried on many different sizes of implants under a tight shirt, but none were really indicative of the size they would be once the swelling was gone, my body relaxed, and I got back to the gym. Even though I have 320 cc’s in my right breast and 300 cc’s in my left, my overall breast size hasn’t dramatically increased. My surgeon was well aware that I didn’t want huge breasts getting in my way while exercising, teaching, or anything that would mean an entirely new wardrobe. Since I already wore a padded bra daily, I haven’t had to buy new clothes, I’ve just swapped out the underwire for sports bras (and it feels wonderful!) Not having to wear a bold piece of metal digging into each side daily is the biggest takeaway from this whole experience. I love the way my figure looks. It’s not a change anyone but me would notice, but I didn’t go through with this surgery for anyone else.