Size 8 woman blocked from NHS surgery on 34HH boobs because she's 'overweight'

Toni Lewis, 27, was forced to spend her £7,600 inheritance on surgery to reduce her breasts which caused her back pain, rashes and hindered her dancing career

 A size 8 woman was forced to blow her £7.6k inheritance on breast reduction surgery after being denied the op twice by the NHS because she was 'overweight'.

Toni Lewis' big boobs were ruining her life, causing her back pain and rashes so severe they would bleed because of the weight of her 34HH chest.

The 27-year-old, from Newport, South Wales, spiralled into a depression after she was unable to get work as a professional dancer as the costumes weren't made to fit her large breasts which would reach her belly button without a bra.

But petite Toni was repeatedly told by NHS docs that her BMI classified her as 'obese' and the only way to get the free op was to lose weight - despite the fact she wore size 8 clothing.

When her grandmother passed away from Covid, Toni used £7,600 of her inheritance to pay for private surgery.

On December 8 2021, she underwent a breast reduction procedure to take her down to a 34C to 34D cup and finally feels positive about her future.

Toni, who is 5ft 4 in, said that her big bust left her in excruciating pain and got in the way of her daily life as well as her profession as a dancer.

She said: "I suffered from terrible back pain and rashes that would bleed. Even though I stopped growing as a teen, my boobs kept growing and getting heavier.

"Without a bra they were down to my belly button. It was demoralising and made me depressed.

"I couldn't bra shopping without crying. The lady in Marks & Spencers would tell me my bra size and I would burst into tears.

"Bikini shopping was impossible. Wearing a button up shirt was impossible as the buttons would pop open or the shirt would gape open. It was not nice.

"I was so self-conscious about my breasts. As a teenager, men would stare at my chest in public and some would make comments about them. It was so upsetting.

"I grew up dancing from the age of three and trained in dancing at college. It was everything to me and I wanted to pursue it professionally. But I couldn't get jobs as the dance costumes weren't made to fit my chest size.

"Over the last few years, exercise has become more and more difficult as I started having to wear multiple sports bras for a mild workout.

Toni, who nows works as an administrator, said she first approached her local GP to try to get a breast reduction when she was 19 years old.

However even though she wore size 8 clothing and was in the best shape of her life, doctors refused her the op and told her she needed to lose weight due to her BMI.

Even after losing 10lbs, doctors denied her the procedure again when she was 21 years old. Toni said she was told to lose another two stone - despite being unable to shift the weight due to large boobs.

"I first went to the GP about a breast reduction surgery when I was around 19 years old. I told them the issues I was facing with my boobs and they took my measurements to send to the clinic for referral.

"However they told me my BMI was too high and that I needed to lose weight. It was really hard to hear that because I was in the best shape of my life at the time. I was tiny.

"I was wearing size 8 jeans but I had to wear size 14 tops just because of how big my boobs were.

"Nonetheless, I lost 10 pounds and went back when to the GP when I was 21 but I was rejected for a breast reduction again.

"I was told that I was overweight and that I needed to lose two stone for the clinic to take me seriously.

"At that point, I honestly didn't know where I could lose the weight from. It could have sent me down a bad road of eating disorders. It wasn't nice at all.

"My boobs weighed at least 10lbs and whenever I lost weight, nothing would come off my chest. It felt horrible and hopeless and it sent me into a real depression.

"I really needed the procedure but there was no way that I could afford the procedure at the time."

When Toni lost both her grandparents, her mother suggested she use her inheritance on getting the breast reduction surgery she had wanted for so long.

On December 8 2021, she underwent the procedure with Mr Amar Ghattaura in HMT Santa Maria in Cardiff.

Toni is now posting TikTok videos to help other women who are struggling and want breast reduction surgery.

She said: "I sadly lost both my grandparents when my nan died of Covid in December 2020. I received inheritance from them six months after.

"As soon as I knew the money was coming, my mum said I should use it to pay for the breast reduction op privately.

I found a surgeon in October last year and got the procedure in December.

"Not once in the private process was I told that I need to lose weight.

"I'm only eight week post-op but I feel like things are looking up after this procedure. I honestly feel like a different person and I'm over the moon.

"I want to get back to dancing professionally and become the happier, healthier version of me. I used to hide and slouch because my boobs were so heavy and big. But I'm so much more confident now.

"Some people love their big boobs and that's great but it caused me so much physical and emotional pain

"I wish the NHS would take into consideration of how big boobs can impact a lot of women.

"I also think the BMI system that the NHS use is extremely outdated. When I was a size 8, my BMI said I was obese which was ridiculous.

"I've been making TikTok videos to help other women who are struggling with their breast size too. I know more than anyone how it feels to be rejected for an operation that is often life-changing."

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