Woman whose 38P boobs were covered in cysts transforms after life-changing op
A woman with four stone boobs crowdfunded £8,000 to get breast reduction surgery – and it’s changed her life.
Laura Howes said her surgeon said the size P cleavage was “the biggest boobs he'd ever seen”, which is why she decided to fund the private op after being “rejected” by the NHS.
Despite her curves causing her health problems and back pain, she claims she was refused surgery on the NHS due to her BMI despite losing weight for the procedure.
So she raised the funds herself, going under the knife on October 21 to get 21lbs (1.5 stone) of breast tissue sliced off.
The 28-year-old's breasts were so large the surgeon needed a nurse to help him hold them as they drew on pre-op markings in pen.
Laura has now dropped 21 cup sizes to become a more manageable size E – and she says it’s the “best decision” she’s ever made.
Laura, from Seghill, Tyne and Wear, said: "I've lost a stone and a half just of boob, it's really weird.
"I've gone down, including double letters, 21 cup sizes. I'm now a 36E.
"I've read a lot of information online that says 'patients are satisfied with dropping two or three cup sizes' – I dropped 21 so I deserve some bragging rights.
"The surgeon who did my operation said I'd got the biggest boobs he'd ever seen. He told me I'm not obese – something I've been told my entire life – but it was just boob.
"I felt validated when he said that as I used to think 'am I exaggerating? Am I being too dramatic?'
"Having this operation is the best decision I've ever made – it's been life-changing.”
Laura continued: "Before the surgery I was so miserable and beat myself up about things I couldn't do and the way I looked all the time.
"Recovery can definitely be rough, as is recovery from any surgery, but even on my worst days I feel exponentially better than I ever did with my 36Ps.
"I finally get to start being myself and living a normal, active life and I can't wait to see what the rest of my life will bring."
The young woman no longer has to deal with severe back pain, sciatica and permanent dents in her shoulders from wearing bras that are too small.
Her cysts, cuts, friction sores and rashes that constantly bled and became infected have also cleared up.
Laura, who lives with 23-year-old supermarket worker boyfriend Sean Peacock, said: "Having the surgery was a physical and emotional weight off my chest.
"When I was in recovery and sat up I looked down and there was no boob on my lap, that was really nice.
"Before the operation I had sciatica but afterwards it was completely gone, I'm so glad about that.
"The vast majority of the boob tissue where I had cysts has been chopped off.
"Now I can stand up straight and I can sit normally too. I can also now sit a sensible closeness to the dining table.
"My boobs don't rest on the dining table anymore and they don't pull the tablecloth towards me when we're playing board games and I have to reach over to move something.
"When I shower I don't have to swing my boobs out of the way anymore.”
She continued: "I can also go for gentle jogs now and have a dream of completing a Disneyland marathon in fancy dress.
"I chatted to my friend about it but I always held back from getting too excited about it in my head because I never saw my boobs not being a problem.
"I genuinely didn't think I'd be able to actually run without it immediately hurting too much to enjoy the experience.
"Finding a cute costume to accommodate my boobs would have cost a fortune too because I'd have to get one custom made.
"But now I'm just your average, plus-size, slightly pear-shaped girl who should, in theory, be able to find cute stuff to wear.
"My boobs should be small enough that I can buy a sports bra that fits and will hold them in place instead of hurting me."
Laura hopes to inspire others who are struggling with pain associated with having big breasts.
She said: "My advice to anyone in a similar situation is to just keep going. I would encourage people to keep trying the NHS [route] as they are fantastic.
"Don't be scared to ask for help. It's nothing to be ashamed of, it's not the easy way out and you're not a bad person – people do want to help."
An NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group spokesman said: "We are unable to comment on individual patients, but we can confirm that the CCG bases its criteria for a number of surgical procedures on the best available scientific evidence.
"This enables us to focus our resources on people who are most likely to benefit from an intervention, and to avoid interventions when they are likely to be ineffective, or worse still dangerous.
"We recognise that there are occasionally situations that do not fit the usual criteria, and individual funding requests can be made for such exceptional situations.
"In cases where BMI is an inappropriate way to judge whether an individual has reached optimum lean body weight, alternative validated measurements can be provided to support such requests.
"We advise that anyone in a similar situation should continue to work with their GP."
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