Battle for the Bosom
Magazin Yellow, 7. Juli 2006
Yellow Magazine Searches for the Truth about Plastic Surgery in Prague
Do you think these breasts need surgery? No way – that’s what we think. One of our editors pretended she wants to get a breast enlargement. What would the Czech surgeons say? Would they send her home or offer her an operation? Is their main concern the patients or their money?
I randomly picked three private clinics that do breast enlargement and I ventured to find out whether a plastic surgeon would oblige a woman with no particular complex about her bosom (why have one if you bear a firm B size), or send her home and provide a contact for an experienced therapist.
Experiment No. 1
The bus takes me to the health centre near Budějovická Metro in Prague 4. Soon I find myself on a comfy leather sofa, filling out my file card and receiving a brochure with information about the augmentation. Then the doctor calls me into his mini-office and I anticipate the question of why I decided to have an operation. He’s fine with „My breasts seem too small to me“. I take my clothes off and after a short, searching look, the doctor steers me to the mirror: „Do they seem the same size to you?“ What? I’ve never ever noticed and I doubt it that anyone has. But it’s true – the left breast is a few milimetres higher and a tiny little bit smaller than its colleague on the right.
Before I can take the news in, the doctor already pulls out shaped bra-pads to demostrate the size of my future breasts. The air in the room fills with numbers -- 240 cubic centimeters, 270, 300 at the very most... 300? Ugh, 270 is plenty! Even as it is, it feels like I could open doors with my potential bosom. At last, we agree on considering two possibilities – 240 on both sides, risking that the difference will get more obvious, or 240 on the right and 270 on the left. But I can tell that the doctor is not sure about the results at all. He is talking about inserting two fluffy objects into my 23 years old body, as if I just came to buy a few slices of ham and loaf of bread!
But at the end of our session, the doctor looks at me and says: „You know, if you were mine, I would never let you do this. You have beautiful breasts, like a model.“ I feel delighted. Not just because of the compliment but because the doctor with a logo ‚Obliging any of your wishes‘ actually got some good points. Although I feel that according to his democratic principles, he would oblige me not only with size C or D but also with a little flower on the left one and a heart on the right one... and in spite the parody of a psychological test I have to do ( clearly recognizing what a ‚right answer‘ would be – How do you sleep? Have you been seeing a therapist?)... in spite of all that – it’s a tie.
On the same day after dinner, I admitted my 5-milimeter imperfection. My long-time boyfriend gazed at me for a bit and then exlaimed: „Sure! Well, I actually hooked up with a reject! I’m taking you back tomorrow!“ A few moments later, he reconciled with this cruel reality and said he would keep me in spite of this defect. I just had to accept that sometimes, he affectionately calls me „my little reject“.
Experiment No. 2
The luxury interior of the clinic on Krakovska street in downtown Prague resembles a hotel rather than a health care centre. There’s a water fountain in the spacious waiting room. A nurse dressed in a two-piece suit shows me in. The doctor, an ex-mycologist, chooses the completely opposite method. First he introduces the operation and the implants placement to me, then he examines my bosom.Faithful to his previous profession, he examines them thouroughly. He obviously does not care why I want my chest to be larger. To him, I am just another in line. He just makes a little comment that the breasts are not that small... Like his colleague, he recommends implants of 240-300 mililitres. When I, already knowledgeable, point out the assymetry, he doesn’t recommend to try to even it. Supposedly, it is hardly visible and he cannot guarantee that a bigger implant wouldn’t cause a diverted assymetry. Then I get hopeful...: „If you were you my daughter...“ My eyes are set on him. „... I would recommend a cut on the line under your breast and this size of implant.“ Oh my God! In vain, I look around for the bra-pads that would help me to decide for the optimal size. Then I ask him how can I picture my new sized bosom. I get paralyzed again when the doctor interposes: „At home, get a little plastic bag, fill it with 250 ml of water, wear a bigger bra and put it in.“
At home, I actually did try the trick with the plastic bags. To make this coverage complete. Unfortunatelly, I must say it didn’t occur to me to use warm or at least luke warm water, therefore it was a short experience and my partner, laughing his head off, recommended: „Call there and say if the implants are this cold you don’t want them!“
Experiment No. 3
At the clinic on Spalena street in Prague, I find out that my third „lab rat“ is a woman. A doctor with professional experience not only in the Czech Republic but also in Canada. When I walk in, she suspiciously looks at my chest, making sure I really want to discuss a potential augmentation. I say that I do and that what she sees is a „push-up“ filling. She asks me to take my top off. Disbelievingly, she exclaims: „You can’t be serious!“ I am delighted but don’t want to give up, yet. All in vain. The doctor says resolutely: „I am not touching these breasts with a scalpel. You can get dressed.“ The nurse at the other table seconds: „You have beautiful breasts, we could use them in our model photographs.“
Because they are the last ones, plus they preserved the good reputation of Czech plastic surgeons, I reveal to both ladies who I am and that I have no intentions to get an augmentation. Dr Černá and I agree on the opinion that the men-plastic surgeons see our charms mainly as something that they can feel pressed against their chest and that in intimate moments fills their palms. Whereas women, doctors included, see the bosom also as the thing that gets in the way when running to catch a tram... Dr Černá says I would definitely find more doctors like her. „I am sure that for example Dr. Měšták wouldn’t do it either.“ Then, with a smile the doctor tears my file card in half and I walk out with my chest stuck-up and my feelings mixed.
Dr. Měšťák maybe wouldn’t but what about the rest? Moreover, the first two doctors forgot to mention a thing I deliberately did not ask about. The actual fact that implants have a limited life-span and even without any possible complications, in 10 or 15 years it would be neccessary to remove them...