'I sold my car to get it done' - Irish women on why they made the decision to undergo breast augmentation
In 2016, more than 12,000 Irish women considered going under the knife to increase the size of their breasts.
Jessica Kavanagh (28), Lindsey Kelly (29) and Audrey Green (35) explain the reasons why they decided to first book their consultation and also the impact the surgery has had on their lives.
Name: Jessica Kavanagh
From: Carrickmines, Dublin
Profession: Fitness trainer and RIBBF (Republic of Ireland Bodybuilding Federation) competitor
I have always been very flat-chested and it was something that really used to bother me in my teens but once I was in my early twenties, it became something I didn't really mind about myself. It's only when I began competing that I became conscious of my boobs again. I had worked so hard to get to the stage, getting really lean and also getting body fat right down. Any boobs I did have disappeared and I was left with just skin on my chest.
You're not judged on your breasts at all during competitions, but I do feel it can give you a more polished look overall. In Ireland, it's 50/50, about half of the competitors would have them done, but in competitions abroad, the majority of female competitors would have had breast augmentation. In September 2015, I competed abroad and I felt odd without them. On the flight home I made the decision to just do it. My partner was delighted, of course!
I sold my car to be able to afford it and I booked the procedure at the Avoca Clinic the following November. I'm quite petite, I'm 5'2 and my chest is quite narrow, so I went for implants that were narrow at the base so they would look more natural, and be in line with my shape. Now I'm a DD.
I'm a complete sissy and I had never been put to sleep before so that aspect was quite nerve-wracking but it was a breeze. I was in and out in a day and it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I was quite tender for a few weeks and I had to take it easy for a while but 12 weeks on I was back doing the tough training I had been doing before the surgery.
Last October, I won the RIBBF bikini title which was wonderful. Obviously, the ambition for many competitors would be to go professional, and it would be a dream of mine to go all the way with this. Outside of the competitions, it's also given me a bit of my femininity back and I feel a lot more confident.
Name: Audrey Greene
From: Dublin but lives in Wicklow
I loved my boobs, I always did. It sounds weird to say but they were my pride and joy. After battling with my weight for most of my twenties, I made the decision to have gastric band surgery and ultimately I lost more than 8 and half stone (54.1 kg).
While it was great to lose the weight, my boobs went totally south and I was devastated. Everyone was telling me how great I looked but I hated my body. I would look at myself and say 'That is not me'. I just wanted them to go back to where they were and not spent evenings crying about my body.
It's all well and good losing weight but what's the point if you feel just as bad as you did before. If there's a problem, why wouldn't you go ahead and fix it?
I made the decision to get an uplift and implants and it was something I just had to do for me. It is expensive but I don't drink, I don't smoke and I don't go out that much so this was my luxury.
I didn't find the surgery in Enhance Medical to be as tough as they say it is. I was told horror stories about the pain and the scarring and the things that could go wrong but I healed all according to plan. I've had two kids without pain relief and that was a million times worse.
Of course some people voiced their opinions before I went and got them done, 'Oh you'll look like a bimbo', 'You'll look so fake', but my mum and auntie were all for it. They could see how much it was getting me down.
Before I lost the weight, I would have been a 40F and now I'm a 34D or DD. Before I would have been so anxious in changing rooms, terrified someone would catch a glimpse of me, but now I'm so much more confident in myself.
People think cosmetic surgery is all about vanity but it is so much more than that. I wouldn't think twice about doing it again.
Name: Lindsey Kelly
Profession: CIT Carlow student
I suppose I decided to get the surgery done for the same reason a lot of other women do. I had always been completely flat chested - I was hardly able to fill an A-cup. I've never been someone obsessed with my body, but when it came to wearing a bikini on holidays or even in my underwear, it was something I felt really self-conscious about.
My mum always said she was the same as I was, always very petite and flat-chested and then in her twenties, she filled out a little bit and I thought 'That will happen for me'. But even after I had my little boy, I didn't see any difference in my body shape. I would have bigger hips and I just felt that I was out of proportion.
I fell into a bit of money a few years ago and I thought, look it's now or never. I never wanted to have massive boobs, I wanted something that would be really natural.
I didn't tell anyone that I was getting it done, except my mum and a close friend. I felt that everyone would be looking at my chest if I did.
Before I looked into it, I always thought it was a massive deal, but it was all so quick and easy, I didn't even stay over night in the Avoca Clinic. I've spent longer roaming around Penneys or in the bath.
Your breasts have a lot to do with your confidence and it really was the best thing I ever did. I was a bit concerned about the message it would send to my son, that if you don't like something about yourself, just change it, but it is a decision I don't regret.