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I Want Fuller Cleavage

In a quest for bigger boobs — without surgery — Ning Chao flies to London for the latest injectable filler.

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When I look in the mirror, I'm thrilled — for the first time without padding, I have cleavage! With small waterproof bandages below each breast, I barely look banged up. In fact, I look pretty much the same, just plumped up on top. I strap on the 1950s-era support bra that I must wear for two weeks and notice how well my breasts fill out the B cups. But when I start walking out the door, I'm stricken by extreme nausea. My mom tells me that she has the same reaction to anesthesia and helps me back to the Metropolitan, a peaceful hotel in quiet Hyde Park, where I hole up for recovery.

The next day is a shock. The local anesthesia has worn off and my breasts feel hard and heavy, like rocks. I take painkillers every four hours, but any sudden movement aches — it feels like my right breast is being ripped off. When the elastic band that I have to wear on top of my support bra (to push the gel downward so I end up with sexy teardrop breasts à la Jennifer Aniston, not American Gladiator pecs) begins to chafe, I wonder if I've made a huge mistake.

But as promised, once the 48-hour mark hits, I feel exponentially better. I still can't lift heavy objects without the shooting pain, but if I don't raise my arms too high, I can move around as normal. On day five, I fly back to New York City; on day six, I'm back to work. I still feel sore, but after the first week, the swelling's gone, the filler begins to soften up, and I only feel achy at night, when I go support-bra-free. Two weeks later, I can resume all my normal activities. (Breast-implant patients have to wait six weeks.)

Although 40 percent of Inglefield's patients opt for more Macrolane on the return visit ("haven't had anyone not come back yet"), I think I'll request the same amount when I return for my treatment next year. At this size, I feel like me — the ideal symmetrical version of me that I've always wanted to be. With my clothes on, I look the same — albeit without padding or push-up — but that's the point.

Bust a Move

Rodial Boob Job, $175; Biotherm Body Resculpt Bust, $38; Guinot Firming Vital Bust Serum, $66; Lierac Paris Bust Lift Crème Modelage, $45; Victoria's Secret Beauty Secret Bust-Firming Demi Bra, $68.

Originally published on December 18, 2008

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