My New Breasts Changed My Life

Article excerpt

Byline: NATALIE CLARKE

REBECCA CHEESMAN has worried about the size of her breasts since her teens.

The 22-year-old was twice refused breast implants on the NHS because it wasn't medically necessary and she was too young.

Six weeks ago she was told she could have the operation, which costs [pounds sterling]2,900, privately.

The Mail reported her story and asked whether a girl of her age needed cosmetic surgery. Now her bust size has been increased from a 34A to a 34C.

Here Rebecca, from St John's Wood, North London, tells NATALIE CLARKE her candid diary of the operation.

JULY 2, 1997:

SINCE my teens I have never felt feminine. Breasts are a feminine attribute, they distinguish a woman from a man, and I didn't have any.

At 12 I had started looking forward to becoming a woman, but it just never happened. If I got on the Tube and there was a woman sitting opposite with a cleavage, I got depressed.

My boyfriend Craig said he loved me the way I was, but I knew he was just saying that because he didn't want to hurt me.

The first doctor I saw regarding an operation on the NHS, was a man and he was dismissive. He thought I was a blonde bimbo.

The next one was a woman who listened to me more sympathetically, but she said I was too young and should give it more thought.

So I was overjoyed when I was told in July that I could have implants. I wasn't worried about going under the knife. I couldn't wait to wake up, look down at my body. I knew I would feel complete as a woman.

My mother and sister are also small-busted and they were supportive of me.

In fact, my sister wants the operation as well, but she's only 19 and we've told her to wait a few years.

JULY 22:

I HAD consultations with Jacquie Sullivan, managing director of the Surgical Advisory Service, and surgeon Jey Prakash. I had an hour-long discussion with Jacquie to reassure her that I wanted the operation for the right reasons.

Anyone wanting breast implants has to do this.

She needed to be sure that I wanted implants for myself and not for the benefit of anyone else, such as a boyfriend, and that I wasn't doing it on a whim. I told her that I felt incomplete as a woman and was desperate for the operation.

She agreed that I could go ahead with surgery and told me she'd never known anyone be unhappy after having implants.

I then talked to the surgeon, concentrating on the practical rather than the psychological aspects of the operation. He asked me whether there was a history of breast cancer in the family. If I was a high risk, I would have been given a mammogram and ultrasound scan before surgery because mammograms on women with implants aren't very effective.

My great-aunt had breast cancer, but she wasn't a close enough relative to pose a high risk. I was examined for breast lumps and given the all-clear.

The surgeon then showed me the implants and recommended that for my height and weight I should go for a size 34C. But I was undecided about the size and we agreed that I would come back for a second consultation.

AUGUST 5: I WAS dithering over whether to go for a B cup or a C cup. Jackie told me that a lot of women opt for the smaller size and then regret it once the swelling goes down.

The surgeon put the B and C cup implants in my bra so I could see what I would look like. I decided that, seeing as I was going through the ordeal of an operation, I might as well have the C cup. It's only a couple of teaspoons more of the implant solution.

I didn't want to look like Melinda Messenger or Pamela Anderson. I just wanted to be shapely. I think Liz Hurley's are a nice size, and they're a C cup.

The implants I had are a new type called Hydrogel. They have come from France where silicone has been banned since 1992 because of safety concerns. …