Keeping fit is important to Claire Standen who spends up to six sessions a week in the gym along with running, trampolining and taking part in Latin dancing. However, she found that as her body has gained muscle and toned up, the exercise was causing her bust to shrink.
“I felt ok about myself, it wasn’t like it was getting me down or anything,” explains Claire, “I just didn’t feel in proportion anymore. I had a better bust when I was 15, before my fitness training started. I heard about a few people who’d had boob jobs, but at the time I thought ‘I can’t do that’ – I was only 18 and didn’t feel able to make such a decision. But I still wasn’t happy with my bust.”
Claire became an air hostess and moved to Dubai where, a few years later, she started to think about the possibility of surgery again. “A lot of the other cabin crew were having it done and from what everyone was saying, it wasn’t necessarily the massive procedure I’d imagined.”
After doing some research and getting the approval from her Macclesfield-based mum, 22-year old Claire decided she wanted to go ahead with breast enlargement surgery. “But I didn’t want them to look unnatural. I didn’t want massive boobs, I just wanted my body to be in proportion.
“I shopped around. I looked at a couple of places in Manchester, and even abroad as I knew a couple of people who’d travelled to Thailand for cosmetic surgery. But I’d heard of a lot of horror stories so decided to go to Spire Regency Hospital which was near where my mum lives.
“I trusted Spire, and after meeting the breast surgeon, Richard Johnson, I was reassured he wouldn’t do anything too extreme. He said his aim was always to look at the person’s body shape and keep everything balanced.”
This was music to Claire’s ears, and she decided to go ahead with the surgery, but chose to wait for four months so she could have the operation during a fortnight’s leave from work.
She flew from Dubai to Manchester, and the next day went to Spire Regency Hospital for her procedure. She explains that having never had an operation before, she did feel a little nervous: “The nurse I was with was great though, really calm and reassuring. The staff were all dead helpful. Everyone was so nice.
“The operation itself was no problem at all – it was so quick, just 45 minutes, with very little pain. The hardest bit was not eating for six hours before the surgery. When I first came round after the op I didn’t feel a thing, I wasn’t even sore, I just felt really hungry!”
I’m really pleased I’ve had it done – it’s great to have a cleavage, and I can now fill a bikini properly and wear clothes I wouldn’t have worn before
Claire stayed overnight in hospital and then went to her mum’s house to recover for 12 days before flying back to Dubai.
“I felt absolutely fine – I even went for a night out four days after being discharged from hospital. I didn’t drink and had to take it a little easy, but it didn’t stop me having a good night out.
“I think it was partly because I made sure I ate healthily and looked after myself, and partly because Mr Johnson hadn’t been too invasive. I’d had the implants put in on top of the muscle on my boobs rather than underneath, which suited my body shape best.
“I’m really pleased I’ve had it done – it’s great to have a cleavage and I can now fill a bikini properly and wear clothes I wouldn’t have worn before – tops with low neck lines, backless dresses and things like that.”
Claire feels more confident, but says she’s glad she waited a few years and had it done properly. “When I was 18 I’m not sure I would have considered the importance of going to a reputable surgeon, or choosing a hospital that includes all the aftercare. A cheap price may have swayed me to go to a backstreet clinic, which is a bit of a scary thought.
“Spire are definitely the experts; I completely trusted them and am thrilled with the result.”