New perky breasts at 46

SINGAPORE - When housewife Grace Lam, 46, first decided to remove her breasts, she did not want to reconstruct them.

Her husband's immediate reaction was: "Are you thinking clearly?"

Mr Peter Yean, 50, an IT consultant, says: "I was surprised but not that surprised as I was sure that Grace was worried about the cost."

After he worked out the sums, they jointly chose implants over the other method of remodelling with the patient's tummy fat.

They declined to reveal costs for the surgery done in December at Mount Alvernia Hospital.

Says Mr Yean: "Grace is still in her prime and just as I wouldn't like to look at myself with boobs, I'm sure my wife wouldn't like looking at herself flat-chested."

The couple, who have a six-year-old daughter, Naomi, went with implants because the method is "less drastic and invasive" compared to the operation to "tunnel" up tummy fat to the breast, says Mr Yean, who had a say in choosing his wife's reconstructed breasts' size and shape.

Five years ago, Ms Lam had a cancerous cyst excised from her right breast. In August last year, biopsies revealed two new cancer spots in the same breast. The recurrence spooked her.

She says: "I thought I had already done my part - lived healthy - yet this happened again.

"So I thought I should remove both sides and do away with the anxiety altogether.

"What's the point of removing only the affected side when there's a risk the other side might be affected as well?"

Looking back, she says it was wise not to chance being "depressed each morning when I wake up and see myself in the mirror, flat".

Her reconstructed breasts are 34B, slightly smaller than her original 34C - radiotherapy earlier had made her skin fragile and she had to have smaller implants.

She says: "I'm happy I had both done. At 46, to have new, perky boobs, why not?"

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.