What Breast Reduction Actually Feels Like
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Victoria Gilbert, 28, went to the GP in March last year because her 34HH boobs were causing chronic back pain and red welts on her skin. She claims a ‘disappointed’ female doctor told her not to have the operation to reduce her eight pound breasts as they are ‘lovely’, and many would pay for a big bust like hers.
Ms Gilbert, from Brentford, West London, said: “I’d made a comment along the lines of ‘I don’t like my boobs, they’re just a bit too big’ and that’s when she looked at me and she said ‘but they’re lovely, people would pay thousands [for them], I know women that have paid thousands to have breasts like yours. Don’t get a reduction’.
“There’s a tone in women’s voices where it’s like ‘oh I’m just trying to make you feel better’ but it wasn’t that. It was very serious, almost like she was disappointed that I was thinking of making them smaller.”
Ms Gilbert says she was surprised to hear the comment from a professional woman, and it made her feel “really angry and hurt”.
She explained that she has suffered with breast-related issues since puberty and other kids teased her at school. She said: “At school, girls would shame and bully me and boys would harass me online for pictures.
“Due to this I suffer with body dysmorphia, I look at myself and see a monster.
“I felt very self-conscious and very embarrassed. I just felt gross, I never had a bra that kept me in properly.”
Over the past decade, Ms Gilbert has been to several GPs asking for a reduction on the NHS but says she had just been advised to lose weight. However, when she lost two-and-a-half stone in 2016, she went up another cup size.
She is now fundraising to get breast reduction operation privately. She said: “After 14 years of crying, aching and hating myself I now believe my best option is to seek private health care.
“I find it very hard asking for help but after a few months that suggestion was rattling around in my brain. Between that and what that doctor said to me I just thought ‘maybe I should just give it a go and see what happens’.
“I’ve done some research and spoken to a clinic in London, they said it would be between £6,500 and £7,500.
“It would be a life-changing operation for me. It will feel like I can just do all sorts of things and not worry about my boobs getting in the way. My back won’t hurt from doing something for too long and I’ll just be able to look at myself in the mirror and like how I look.”
A spokesman for the NW London CCGs in relation to the doctor’s recent alleged comment regarding Ms Gilbert’s breasts, said: “Neither the CCG or the practice have had direct correspondence from Ms Gilbert on this matter. The practice would welcome the opportunity to hear and respond to Ms Gilbert’s concerns directly.
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“We expect all our GPs to practise in accordance with the GMC guide on Good Medical Practice for example, adequately assessing a patient’s condition, treating them as individuals and respecting their dignity.”
A spokesman for NHS Dorset CCG in relation to Ms Gilbert’s claims of a decade of repeat visits to doctors regarding breast reductions, said: “We are sorry to hear of this experience and would urge anyone who is unhappy with services they receive to contact us directly to discuss the issue.
“Treatments and surgeries of these kinds are handled on a case by case basis set against key criteria which is outlined in our policies. We are always more than happy to listen to concerns and take action if required.”
To donate to Ms Gilbert’s fundraiser, click here.
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