Like many boys, when John Murphy was young he dreamed of becoming a footballer. However, unlike many boys, he soon discovered that his real passion was medicine – leading him to a career as a Surgeon specialising in breast surgery.
“By the time I’d reached high school, I knew that becoming a Doctor was what I really wanted to do,” Mr Murphy recalls. “Helping and caring for people seemed like a career that would suit me.”
After qualifying as a Doctor from the University of Liverpool Medical School in 2000, his interest in surgery meant that he began his surgical career the following year. He began training in breast surgery in 2003.
Like all Surgeons in the UK, Mr Murphy is appraised by the General Medical Council annually to ensure his skills are kept up to date, which is carried out at the UK’s biggest specialist breast unit. As a specialist in cosmetic and revision breast surgery, breast assessment and breast cancer surgery, he also lectures at breast and plastic surgery conferences, and teaches and supervises plastic and breast surgical trainees every week. In addition, he contributes to major scientific papers in this field and is a tutor on the Masters in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery course.
Mr Murphy says, “The technical aspects of breast surgery fascinate me. You can see the benefits of this type of surgery almost immediately. Other areas of medicine aren’t always the same – seeing results can be a much slower process.”
Murphy continues to gain huge satisfaction from his job. “I enjoy helping my patients,” he smiles. “It’s a varied role and I see a range of different issues, so no two days are ever the same. I speak to people from many different walks of life and I gain a real sense of satisfaction from making a difference, no matter the type of problem I may be presented with.”
Mr Murphy has some advice for anyone who may be considering breast enlargement surgery. “It’s vital to take time to consider what the procedure involves. Have a really good think, and be very sure that this is what you want to do before you start the consultation process. Research what your recovery may look like, and get a feel for the preparations you would need to make for it – for example, if you have young children, you may not be able to lift them for several weeks after your procedure.”
He adds, “Prior to surgery, you should make sure that you’re as healthy as you can be, so that you can optimise your results and enjoy a speedy recovery. Stop smoking, and make sure you’re at a healthy weight if you can.”
Mr Murphy is also keen to make sure that his patients have realistic expectations about the changes that breast augmentation can bring. “Often patients bring in pictures from celebrities or influencers on Instagram and tell me that’s what they want to look like. In most cases, that isn’t realistic – or even possible. I’m honest with my patients about what they can achieve from their procedure and what their goals should be.”
How will you know that you’ve have found the right breast surgery provider and surgeon? Mr Murphy recommends carrying out research online before deciding who you’d like to speak to. “If they’re good, they’ll have nothing to hide. A reputable surgeon will let you know about their results, including their individual complication rate – which all surgeons have.
“At your consultation, ask as many questions as you can and if you’re unsure of anything, get it clarified. It’s so important that you feel you can trust the person carrying out your treatment, so be completely sure that you believe what they’re telling you. Use the cooling off period to thoroughly explore all the information you have.”
And what about life after surgery? “Everyone heals differently, at different rates, and reacts to surgery differently,” says Mr Murphy. “But for everyone who undergoes breast augmentation surgery, there are activities that need to be postponed for a while to help ensure a smooth recovery.”
He’s clear about how breast enlargement surgery can transform his patients’ lives. “The results from surgery can be a real turning point,” he explains. “The patients who stand out in my memory most are the young women with quite marked asymmetry – different breast sizes. The first time I meet them, they can be quite introverted and, in some cases, really embarrassed and suffer with mental health problems because of the asymmetry. Following their surgery, they’re changed people – far more outgoing and confident, positive about the future, and carrying themselves completely differently.”
It’s clear that Mr Murphy loves the career path he’s chosen. “Everyone in my team works incredibly hard, and the days can be long,” he admits, “but it’s such an interesting job, and I love being part of Transform. The company has a really good reputation, and it has a focus on high standards of care and first-class hospital facilities. The nursing staff, ward-based team and facilitators look after our patients incredibly well – here, you’re not just looked after by one person, you have a whole team which has your care as their main objective.”
You can learn more about all the surgeons available with Transform on our surgeon page.