You don’t need implants! You can have beautiful breasts that are completely augmented to enhance their appearance using your own body fat. This is Autologous Fat transfer and I am glad I discovered it a little over a year ago. I was a long-distance runner, and a busy working mother. I had thought about getting Breast enhancement surgery before but wasn’t in dire need, so kind of just put it to the back of my mind and thought “One day, I might do something”. My breasts had not only been destroyed by breast feeding my lovely babies but breast feeding had made them uneven sized. I had “golf balls in socks, one saggier than the other.

Two years ago, I came across this all-natural procedure called autologous fat transfer (AFT for short) and better yet, there was a Surgeon skilled in this area, who practiced only 45 minutes away!  This was no longer an idea – this became something I really wanted.

I booked myself in for a consultation, not really knowing what to expect. I sat in the exam room, surgical gown around me waiting for Dr Paul Salmon and nurse Georgie to assess the situation.  Of course, the more fat you have deposited, the easier it is to procure. Being an athlete, it took a bit of time to decide where the fat could be taken from.

Dr Paul Salmon is middle aged, very courteous and kind. Dr Paul S and Nurse Georgie had  to look hard for enough fat, but,  after much pinching and examining Dr Paul finally gave the the verdict I was hoping to hear, “We can help you!”. He eventually settled on my inner thighs as the fat donor site.

A few weeks went by, and a quote was sent out. This meant I was able to begin my journey to reclaim the breasts I used to have before breast feeding. Little did I know they would end up being better they ever were before my babies. But don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate my breasts. I wasn’t low on self-esteem because of them, but I knew how much better they could look and knew I would be happier with a natural approach to achieving the fuller bust that, deep down, I wanted.

My journey into pre-op preparation began not long after the surgery date was set.

I had time to prepare my breasts before the procedure.  Preparation is an essential part of the process. After all, that precious fat that you once hated and wished it gone, is now like gold and needs somewhere to go when grafted back into the breast. I jokingly said to Dr Salmon that I would start eating pies to gain some extra supply! He said, no way, eat healthy.

Pre-procedure breast volume measurements were taken. This is done by dipping your breasts into bowl of warm water until they are fully submerged. An average is taken from three tests each side and recorded as a starting point to show how much fat is needed and to make sure Dr Salmon can distribute the fat evenly. This really highlighted to just how bloody uneven they were and made me more certain and determined to get these girls sorted.

Before pics were taken.  Now, I am not going to say I didn’t like the before. But at the same time, I didn’t love them as much as I should. They fed two babies; I ran like Forest Gump for years. Increasing my distances and addicted to the endorphin hit. It was my sport. I loved how it made me feel but my boobs were the collateral damage.

Preparation for the procedure at this time involved “The Brava Cups” (These should be re-named the ‘Brave’ Cups) they made me think of Madonna’s Iconic Jean Paul Gaultier Cone Bra, although far less glamourous. These are two big plastic dome shaped cups with a silicone mold around the rim that sits against your skin.
The cups are connected via plastic tubes, which in turn connect to a small hand pump. Once a smooth fit is established against your skin you begin to suck the air out of the domes. This suction helps to temporarily enlarge your boobs, to create the space for the grafts and even more importantly to increase blood supply to the area. This helps to create the perfect environment for the fat to graft into.

To get my Brava cups on, I found myself holding the hand pump between my knees as I got the cups in place. Resting them against one forearm. I then grabbed the pump with my then free hand and started pumping to get the cup suctioned. Most of the time I felt it work straight away. I pumped until the pump didn’t bounce back, ready to go again. No air, just pure suction. I would sit for anywhere between half an hour to 3 hours at a time, Watching a Netflix movie or reading a book with the cups on was a thing for a long while. Knowing I had to do at least 275 hours with these things on, I would do as much as I could, which meant morning and evening pump action.

The month of the procedure rolled around and I had done 375 hours with the Brava Cups.  Boy did they look great even before the surgery! Dr Salmon and Georgie were very impressed with what I had been able to achieve.

Surgery day. Finally, it was here. Finally, I could say goodbye to cupping which had funnily enough become part of my daily routine. I sat in the waiting area of the Skin Centre full of excitement. Nurse Georgie came out to greet me and although she was wearing her mask, I could tell she was smiling and looking just as excited as I was. “You look nervous- are you nervous?” she asked. “Oh no I cannot wait to see how they are going to look after this” I replied. I was taken to the theatre and prepared with booties, a gown and an itty-bitty disposable G-string. 

Dr Paul came in and marked up my thighs with a Sharpie marker to show where the fat would be taken from. The lines crisscrossed from my knee to the top of my thigh. Georgie administered the anesthetic via  tiny knicks in the skin  and upon completion my legs were completely numb and pale and had ballooned up with all the fluid.

I was ready for Dr Salmon to work his magic. Make my thighs a little smaller and my boobies bigger!!

The mood was relaxed, I was relaxed and all the way through Georgie informed me what was happening. It was painless. So much so, I was compelled to watch the surgery After all it is not something you do often and for me this was going to a one-time procedure. I had achieved what I set out to do.

I had my phone next to me and with permission I was able to take some selfies during the procedure. I made sure to take some funny pictures and some close ups of what I was seeing, like the little sterile bags of that glorious, golden fat that had been liposuctioned out sitting there waiting to be taken to the place it should have been in the first place – my breasts! Dr Salmon said it was “well looked after and wouldn’t have budged no matter what I did”. I wasn’t sure which part of that sentence I liked more, the fact that I had looked after my fat so well or that no amount of exercise was going to change that – so in my head that translated to “you have perfect fat”.

I decided to take some videos. Pictures don’t really do justice when it comes to showing your husband, your mother, your sister, or anyone else who takes an interest in the surgery. Despite the cannula moving up and down just beneath my skin in my thighs or during the fat grafting in my breasts – it looks severe, but it was so painless which made it fun to watch and even better to film.  I showed Dr Paul later on, he didn’t know I had taken video – much to his delight and amusement, as he doesn’t get patients who do that.

The entire procedure took 4 hours, two hours to infuse the local very slowly into one leg, then the other then each breast, and two hours for Dr Paul to harvest the fat and then place it in my breasts. I felt totally fine afterwards. I got dressed, putting on my compression leggings that had been made to measure – the funniest part about these is they are crotchless, so you don’t need to take them off to pee. I must say this did make me nervous but can report a 100% success rate. Over top of the compression leggings I wore loose pants paired with a sports bra and button up shirt.

I stayed at a hotel close by so I could pop back into the clinic the next morning to have a quick post op check. I was getting this done as an independent woman, so I left my car in the underground carpark of the clinic and had a nurse drop me off. I slept well and didn’t have too much pain considering what the video footage showed. I taxied back in the morning and met with Dr Paul and Nurse Georgie. We were all very pleased with the results.  I was beaming. All the cupping and the investment was so worth it. It didn’t matter that running is now a treat. This was important to me and given the running injuries I had sustained, I decided that now was a good time to change up which sport I would become addicted to and would enable me to maintain these new assets. I love to swim and Mountain bike, so am pleased these are still available.

After my post-op appointment I carefully drove home to Rotorua and spent the next 3 weeks keeping my elbows in and missing out on doing some of the things I love, like washing the dishes, hanging out the washing, vacuuming and doing usual household chores. Lifting your arms is a no-no. The hardest part was the hair washing – you have to bend over to wash it upside down, so plan to wash it less and just braid it or leave it in its greasy glory (unless you are skilled enough to do an up-do with your elbows down!)

During the recovery period I purchased some new bras – I had wanted zip-up bras that were comfortable and supportive. I managed to find Nike Dri-fit as the perfect option. I purchased a few and these are great as you put them on like a cardi – arms in and then zip it up.

The swelling went down and there was minimal bruising on my breasts. My thighs were a little bit sore – but that was to be expected. Bruising on my thighs went down over 3 weeks. The numbness from the anesthetic took about 4 months to subside. This is a totally normal side effect and is all part of the healing process. Your skin can also commonly get a bit lumpy for a while; mine did but only a little and this went away easily.

I was left with these beautiful naturally enhanced breasts that I couldn’t stop looking at, couldn’t stop touching and just wanted to photograph – although the photography had to wait until I was able to purchase more beautiful underwear to wrap them in!

A few weeks later I went back to the Skin Centre to have a post-op check up and get new measurements taken.  The improvement was noticeable and the ‘settled’ look was great! I was happy to be able to resume the household chores and I was able to have a few bike rides and swims. Routine was back and best of all; underwear shopping was on the cards.

During this visit Dr Paul broached the possibility of another procedure on the future as he knew I wanted another cup size again. He had read a scientific article about a new pre-op preparation procedure that did not use the Brava cups. This new preparation method is called The Pico system. This involved using a negative pressure dressing and a small electronic pump to create the suction that the Brava cups did. The three big differences with this dressing was 1) more comfortable,2) they can be worn out to work and socially as no one can tell you have them on and they work 24/7  3) reducing preparation time to only two weeks.    

“How would you like to do this and trial it for me?” Dr Salmon asked. My immediate thought was shit getting even better tits? Heck yes! I would go home and speak to my husband but gave Dr Salmon a tentative yes before I left.

I went home with the information and thoughts about how much better they would get with one more procedure. The Pico system only requires the wearer to use it for 2 weeks 24/7. This was totally do-able. I had come this far and was keen to do a bit more.

I spoke to hubby. He was not so keen to start with, having already invested with the first procedure and the goal had already been achieved. I told him to stop looking at it pragmatically. “Imagine you had a 1000cc motorbike and then was offered another 500cc for a bit more money. “What is the point in having 1000 when you can have 1500” this got him thinking.

He noticed the excitement on my face and knows that when I put my head into something, there is generally no going back. He may have confused my eagerness (and from what I saw was a great opportunity) with a sudden mid-life crisis of sorts. “When are you going to stop? You’re out of control” he exclaimed. “Well now you mention it, I do want the lines around my eyes done” (insert big grin) he looked at me with a combination of amusement (you’re pulling my leg right) and fear (what has my wife become? Do I need a second job?)   He rung his best mate to get some advice and try to validate his feelings man to man. They were both on each other’s side not on mine. Oh, the conflict. In the end I just said “Come on hun, what husband doesn’t want his wife to have bigger boobies”. He smiled and in that moment, victory was mine, he couldn’t argue with that. He is a supportive husband and is happy when I am happy, so a new date was set to go back and see Dr Salmon.

He and Georgie greeted me and were happy to see me back. Measurements were taken just like before and I was fitted with the Pico system. Georgie carefully placed the dressing pads over my breasts and taped them to my skin. The pads each had their own small plastic tube which attached to a small pump that could easily be attached to your pants. The pump sucks out the air from the pads. When negative pressure is reached the pads feel hard against your skin. A little green light flashes to say ‘ok’ – this is your reassurance the pump is working. This is good, as you really don’t feel like they are doing much at all – certainly not compared to the Brava cups!

The Pico dressing wearing was going well.  Wearing loose clothing and button up shirts helped to conceal the tape and the pump is pretty quiet. Certainly not noticeable during the day.

The following week I was on school camp with my year 12 students.  I was both looking forward to going and a bit scared. You can’t really go telling teenagers you’re getting a boob job. I decided, if need be, that I would say I am part of a research team for some medical skin trial. The only thing I told them was I couldn’t get my top half wet. Camp was successful. I was able to do some activities, the pump stayed in place and was working well.  Until the last day, it started to make noises to say a leak had been detected. This actually happened at home the week before, and my husband and I thought we had fixed it by locating the tiny hole as you would a leak in a tyre – using soap and water. But I ended up going back to the Skin Centre and had a new kit applied with Georgie. This was well timed as it meant the new dressings would last the final week.  The last day of camp. I was packing up. Suddenly I heard the familiar low Zzzzzz sound. Oh FFS! I went to the kitchen a got a cup of water and some detergent. My genius idea last week would quickly tell me where the leak was, and I would be able to fix it make-shift style until I could get home and use the spare tape I had to patch over it. I tried and tried to locate the apparent leak, but no bubbles came out. The buzzing went from intermittent annoyance to non-stop “I have a problem”. I decided to turn it off and would resume prepping with the Brava cups I had when I got home. Having these as a backup was good, and I was glad they were only needed at the end of this pre-op prep! The dressings were great and the difference they had made was obvious.

Hubby and I headed down to Masterton on the Africa twin three days before the procedure. Packing my Panier, the first item to go in was my cups. If I was able to ride with them under my jacket, you can bet your life they would have been on.  My plan was to cup in the evening and again in the morning before we went out for the day. We were staying in a cabin with friends of ours who had ridden up from Nelson. I assumed we would have our own rooms, but no, I would have to wear the cups under the duvet or under one of the boys’ shirts. They knew what I was doing and so there was no need to try to hide it.

Mission accomplished. I had managed to cup another 10 hours or so by the time it was home time. My surgery was booked for the following morning. I felt ready.

I arrived back at the Skin Centre and was greeted by Georgie, who was once again happy to see me. She led me though the now very familiar doors and handed me the surgery kit – gown, booties and itty-bitty disposable G-string. I took my shoes and socks off and put the booties on straight away ready to walk to into the theatre room.

This time the well-preserved fat was coming off the back of my thighs. Dr Paul marked out my breasts and the back of my legs with his black harpie pen. I was ready all over again.

I was relaxed as Georgie got the Anesthetic administered. First into the back of those thighs, then into each breast. This went relatively smoothly. Being the back of the thighs, it was a little more tender to start with. Sometimes I felt the end of the cannula pricking me and so this made it harder to relax, as I anticipated a prick each time she moved it around. To help, I started taking some pictures, cannulas sticking out of my skin, pulling funny faces, making us both laugh.  The more anesthetic she added the easier it became and before I knew it, we were done. I rolled over onto my stomach squishing my boobs down helping the dispersion of the anesthetic.

Dr Paul began working his magic. I lay there, butt in the air, phone close by to record and to capture more images.  He doesn’t muck around, I don’t know why but seeing him gloved up, cannula in one hand and fat deposit bag in the other made me excited. This was really going to happen!

I felt the familiar motion of the cannula going in and out of my leg as it sucked the fat out. I pressed record on my phone to capture my smiling face and Dr Paul busy working away on the back of my right leg.  As a non-medical person, I find this so fascinating and enjoy watching the process. It is amazing what can be done now. The option of transferring fat is something I am sure many women would absolutely go for. I take these recordings and pictures for myself, but also if people ask me about it, I am in a better position to not only tell them but show them as well.  The sight of fat being grafted into your breasts is confronting. It does look painful, but because of the anesthesia it is not. 

I stayed at the same hotel I stayed at the last time. I felt a little less than great, compared to the first time around, but nothing a bit of food and a good sleep didn’t fix. The backs of my thighs hurt. Dr Salmon did say they would be more tender than my inner thighs. Sitting on the toilet fully was not an option so I had to hover for 3 weeks. They felt really bruised. I massaged them and used the 3 weeks rest to really let them heal – even though I was itching for a walk.

Each week my legs got better. The compression tights certainly helped with that, and I actually wore them for a few extra days. I was also taped up post-surgery. Both breasts had been taped to help reduce movement so I couldn’t see them, but could feel and see the change.

My breasts were great after the first procedure but now they are AMAZING! I friggen LOVE them. The extra procedure, made them go from Woah to Wow! The day I took the tape off, I was a bit apprehensive, not sure how much of a change there would actually be, but I was blown away. I couldn’t stop looking at them and touching them. Thank goodness I hadn’t brought new bras yet – after the swelling had gone down, this was my next thing to do! I lived in my larger sports bras until I went back to Tauranga for my post-surgery check and to go shopping.

I arrived at the Skin Clinic for my post-op appointment. By now I was feeling like a regular. Georgie greeted me and we went through to wait for Dr Paul. I was given my gown (pretty sure there is one there with my name on it now) and I waited for him to come in with his camera to take ‘after’ photos. I sat with the gown in my hands holding it around me.  “Ta da!” I said and opened up my gown to reveal the newer breasts he had worked on.  “Woah!” he exclaimed, eyes popping. (F@!k yeah they are looking good, check me out – I thought).

“These are what you call ‘no pen boobies’” Dr Paul had an amused but confused look on his face, so I explained. “If your boobs can’t hold any pens, there is no sag. It’s a legit scale of measure. The amount of pens you can hold tells you the level of sag, these passed the no pen test” He laughed, especially when I told him that was one of the first comments my husband made “Woohoo no pens”. He had not heard that before, and now may not look at a pen for its single intended purpose again. Sorry Dr Paul.

We took the after pictures and I went and splashed out on new bras. It was super fun and I must have tried on at least 20 different ones. I drove home, with my sexy bag and my super sexy breasts and a massive smile on my face.

Autologous fat transfer is the way to go. I am a huge advocate for it! I had shown Dr Salmon my ‘fun photos’ during my last visit and he laughed and realized I was a great representative for this procedure as I showed women that it is nothing to be worried about, it is quick, virtually pain free, recovery is great and the results are well worth it.

If you are thinking about enhancement surgery, but if you don’t want a foreign object in your chest for the rest of your life, Dr Paul Salmon can give you the breasts you want which are totally natural and completely your own. Get a consult and begin your better boobies journey. I promise you will love it!!!

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