Monthly Archives: September 2016

Augmenting reality

Jen in her hospital bed

Waking up after surgery with my cuddly hippo

I’m aware I’ve been neglecting the blog a bit, but I haven’t really had much transition-related news to write about recently…  I think things have slowed down a lot because there’s not much left to do!  Last week however, I took a big step forward and went over to Manchester for breast augmentation surgery.

My breasts, or lack thereof, have been one of the main sources of my dysphoria over the last year.  That’s probably because I’d been able to fix many other areas (Adam’s apple, facial hair, etc) but never had much luck with breast growth.  Any weight I put on seems to go straight to my bum, which is nice but leaves me a little lacking up top.

Since going full-time 15 months ago I’ve been pretty much permanently wearing super, mega, triple-cup-boosting A cup bras to give my chest a bit more shape.  The observant bystander might have noticed that my breast size would change dependent on the bra I was wearing, or that sometimes the bra would go for a wander and reposition my breasts to right up under my chin.  I also felt I needed to avoid low-cut tops as any visible parts of my chest would be completely flat.

A breast augmentation seemed like the natural next step, so I started reading up online and talking to private surgeons.  I was particularly interested in if there would be any differences in the procedure due to me being transgender and not having much breast tissue.  I was aware that some surgeons might require a transgender patient to have had lower surgery first (as this can cause hormonal changes which might result in breast growth) or have been full-time and/or on hormones for a certain amount of time prior to surgery.  One reason I waited until this year to explore options was because I wanted the letter from the Gender Identity Clinic saying I had been diagnosed as transsexual before talking to surgeons.

I chose a surgeon who had good reviews from other transgender people, and had an initial consultation which went really well and made me much more confident about the procedure.  The surgeon completely understood my motivation and was able to answer all of my questions.  We discussed my goals for the surgery and, as I wanted a natural look, he suggested anatomically shaped implants rather than round.  He was even able to take a series of photos and create a 3d computer model of my torso, to which he could apply different shapes and sizes of implant to show me how they would look.

A few days after the appointment I phoned up and was told there would only be a two month wait if I wanted to go ahead with the surgery, so I booked it in!

We had a second consultation two weeks before the operation date, where we finalised implant size and shape and the surgeon was able to answer all the questions I’d come up with since the last appointment.  I had also talked to the endocrinologist and counsellor at the Leeds GIC to check they were ok with me going ahead.

The surgery went well and, after a night in hospital, I’ve had a quiet week at home in bed to recover.  It’ll take a few months for everything to fully settle down, but overall things are just a bit uncomfortable rather than painful, so that’s good.  Hopefully it won’t be too long before I can get measured and find out what cup size I’ve come out as.  Looking in the mirror though, I think I can rest assured that I won’t be needing my A cup bras anymore 🙂