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A journey to breast augmentation without breaking the bank

When life gives you lemons- not watermelons

Would you ever get a boob job? “No way,” my seventeen-year-old self would firmly say to my group of girlfriends. “I like my body. Plus, I don’t want to look fake.” Half of this was true. I had seen my fair share of Playboy and Penthouse covers by that age, and while I admired these women’s uninhibited sexuality I also knew I did not want two watermelon-sized breasts on my small frame. However, I did not particularly like my body.

Puberty my friend, was not my friend. While I watched my classmates’ girlhood blossom into beautiful, womanly breasts, my tiny flat chest remained- well tiny and flat. By high school I felt like an impostor wearing padded bras to school and actively avoiding coed pool parties where my secret might be reveled. I specifically remember a family holiday in Barbados when I was eighteen where per my request, no bikini-clad photos were to be taken of me. Fortunately growing up I had many good friends who never teased me, and a boyfriend who never seemed to care, or notice for that matter. I excelled in sports and academics and this continued throughout University, where I met my now husband, and graduated with honors and a reasonably paid marketing job waiting for me in Leicester. However, breast augmentation did not seem realistic at the time.

Young sad girl sitting alone in an empty room

1.4 million women have breast augmentation each year. It is the leading cosmetic surgery for women worldwide.

Starting the conversation

By twenty-seven I was married with a promising career and living – by most twenty-something standards- a successful life. Yet, every time I stood topless in front of the mirror I still felt the same stinging insecurities as my teenage self. I liked my petite figure and athletic body, but I couldn’t help but imagine that same body with proper breasts to match.

It took nearly three more years for the idea of a breast augmentation to become a real conversation. My friends told me I was perfect how I am. My mother said not to change what God gave me. And my husband, bless his heart, said he would love my body the same- surgery or no surgery. Ultimately the decision was up to me. What do I want? What will finally help me to finally feel comfortable with my body? When I could confidently answer those questions a whole new series of obvious questions arose. Is this safe? What clinic should I go to? How much will this cost? What can I afford?

Finding the perfect fit

It did not take long to figure out that cosmetic surgery of this nature would not be covered by health insurance, the National Health Service (NHS), and that a private clinic in the UK was outside of my budget. My first consultation was in London. Patient reviews praised the clinic for high quality and exceptional results, yet oddly they all  forgot to mention the price. My surgery- anesthesia, recovery time, and cost of each silicon implant not included- was estimated at £4,800-£5,000. After paying a hefty consultation fee, I moved on to a smaller private clinic in Birmingham. Once again, my surgery was estimated at £4,500-4,750, other costs not included. Was I going to have to sell my apartment for new breasts? Feeling discouraged I reached out to a friend. “Have you ever considered travelling outside of the UK?” she asked. “To have your breast augmentation abroad?”

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Immediately my mind flooded with horrible images of some jungle hospital with dirt floors and no running water. Certainly I could wrap my head around the idea of it being cheaper, but what about the quality? What about the results? Didn’t I read something in the news several years ago about a botched boob job in Mexico or something? I expressed my concerns.

“You’re being ridiculous Anne!” my friend replied. “A colleague of mine just travelled to Prague several months ago for a breast enlargement and she had a wonderful experience. She said the clinics were state-of-the art, everyone spoke fluent English and the cost was nearly half of what it would have been in the UK- and her breasts look amazing.”

Central Europe? I had never thought of that before. And Prague? Well that was only a two hour flight from London. With this information I decided to start looking into clinics and prices online. The months that followed were quite unpleasant.

As expected, researching treatments in a country other than your own is a headache. While I could immediately tell that the savings were attractive, I spent hours comparing prices, waiting for clinics to respond to my emails and answer my questions, checking flights, looking into nearby accommodation, etc. I did come across several medical travel websites, but each was lacking either in information or did not provide an end-to-end service. It felt like more trouble than it was worth. That was until I came across a full-service online platform that changed everything.

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Only a 2-hour flight from London, Prague, Czech Republic is a convenient destination for patients from the UK and Western Europe.

Where the other sites lacked, this platform facilitated treatments abroad and provided the prospective patient with end-to-end service and the opportunity to directly compare services and costs. It allowed me to speak directly to the surgeons who would be performing my surgery, compare their qualifications and specialties, and have all of my questions and concerns answered by a professional . This provided me comfort and peace of mind and allowed me to get a feel for the chemistry between each surgeon and myself. Furthermore, I was pleased to find out that the surgery price, £2,040 (made entirely transparent) included the necessary anesthesia for the surgery, the actual implants, as well as the post-surgery recovery time at the clinic. After adding airfare and 5 nights accommodation, the total cost was £2,573. Within 7 days of discovering the platform I had selected a clinic, surgeon, selected a date for my breast augmentation, and booked a return ticket to Prague, the Czech Republic.

My breast augmentation  journey

When my husband and I arrived in Prague we were warmly welcomed and transported to a pre-arranged hotel, and on the same day toured the clinic, met my surgeon and had my consultation. As we had discussed before my arrival, my surgeon and I agreed on a natural looking, full-B cup. The watermelon look still didn’t fancy me. The following day I was transferred to the clinic where my surgery was successfully performed, lasting about two hours, and then it was off to recovery.

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Originally I had planned to only stay one night at the clinic following my procedure, but at my surgeons request I stayed two. Throughout the entire stay I felt that the staff truly had my best interest in mind. As you know, this feeling is not always obvious in some hospitals and clinics. The quality and professionalism was equal to or beyond anything I had ever experienced in the UK.

At the same time, a representative from the full-service platform was checking in with me and assuring that I was receiving the best care possible. They also went out of there way to make sure my husband was relaxed and enjoying his stay in Prague. Although we were in another country, both of us agree that we never once felt uncomfortable or alone.

Returning home

Now fully recovered, I am very pleased with the results. Now when I look in the mirror I do not feel that seventeen-year old girl who was never quite happy with her breasts. When my friends, several of which have since gone abroad for cosmetic surgery, ask me if I would ever get another procedure done, my answer is no. Breast Augmentation was never about trying to achieve perfection, but about feeling 100%  confident in my skin. It was a decision I had waited my entire life to make, and I am so happy I did.

As for travelling abroad, it was a wonderful experience. From the online platform to the clinic and surgeon, the entire process was made simple and comfortable. I was always well-informed and looked after from the moment I stepped off the plane to the moment I flew home. The quality was exceptional and the savings have allowed my husband and I to finally take a long-awaited holiday. We are going to Barbados, my first time back in nearly fifteen years. And this time, I will be encouraging loads of photos.

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