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Phoebe's Breast Reduction Story

“Having surgery changed my life for the better. It’s improved my mental health as well as my self-confidence. I can finally live my life without my breasts hindering me in any way”

March 22nd, 2019 |Patient Stories

As part of our Changing Perceptions series, we spoke with Phoebe, a 20-year-old trainee nurse and MYA patient from Bristol, who underwent a breast reduction procedure.

In the recent study by MYA Cosmetic surgery exploring the perceptions of cosmetic surgery, patients like Phoebe shared their stories and reasons for having a cosmetic procedure.

Interestingly, Phoebe’s story resonated with the largest number of people; with over 8 in 10 people (82%) saying they could understand her decision to undergo a breast reduction procedure.

As a result of hearing from patients such as Phoebe, 1 in 4 people admitted to having wrongly judged people in the past, purely for having cosmetic surgery.

“I was 19 when I had surgery but I had been thinking about it since the age of 14, as it affected my life so much. I remember being young and my mum had bought me loads of new bras - I cried as I tried them all on; not one fitting and my breasts spilling from every part of the material trying to hold them in place.

“My boobs were really out of proportion, the right side being two bra sizes bigger compared to the left side. My boobs had no shape to them and just hung like dead weight. They affected my health by giving me continuous back pain as well as affecting my confidence to go out socialising and I constantly felt uncomfortable in relationships and couldn’t do the sports I used to enjoy.”

"Being young and starting to go out with friends, it's incredible how many people think they can comment on your body and point out your “massive tits” because they think it's ok and a 'good thing'. But my breasts made me feel uncomfortable and self-conscious every day, in every item of clothing and every situation.

“I attended physiotherapy and psychological sessions for cognitive behavioural therapy in the hope that I would ‘learn to love my body’ as it was, but this didn’t change how unhappy I felt about my breasts.”

“During a six-year period and with the help of my GP, I applied for help from the NHS to have a breast reduction but after four failed attempts, I knew it was time to start looking at having the procedure with a private provider.

My Mum helped me by researching everything possible to start the process and my family were really supportive throughout the entire journey. During my first consultation with MYA, we talked about procedures that are available and whether breast reduction was the right one for me. I was asked about why I was considering the procedure and I explained the difference it would make to my life.”

“When it came to the operation I was very nervous, only because I’d never had one before. But the staff at the MYA hospital were so lovely and kept me very calm, explaining everything in detail at every stage.”

Mr Giannas, Phoebe’s surgeon explains,

“A Mammoplasty, also known as female breast reduction is an operation to reduce the weight and volume of the breasts. Many women like Phoebe can no longer cope with the physical strain that larger breasts can cause or the associated discomfort. But for many, it’s the psychological impact of large breasts that patients struggle with and the way it affects their day to day life with their relationships, the clothes they wear and even the activities they take part in.”

Phoebe continues,

“I have always been open with my friends and family about the procedure and I documented a Vlog throughout my journey, to help friends and family understand the procedure and why I had it done. This was alongside creating an Instagram page to help others understand what impact it had on my life. The MYA Cosmetic Surgery community is incredible and such a great support system for anyone considering or even curious about cosmetic surgery.

“I didn’t have any fears or concerns about what other people thought or whether I'd be judged for having cosmetic surgery because I knew it would make a massive difference to my life both physically and psychologically. Cosmetic surgery is very personal and I knew this procedure would drastically improve my life and make me a happier person so it didn’t matter what other people thought.”

“For anyone considering a procedure, my advice would be to do your research, more research and even more research. Then go and speak with a professional to discuss your options and give you realistic expectations about cosmetic surgery, there is no point in comparing yourself to others or asking to look like someone else as surgery is a personal journey.

“Since having my operation my attitude towards cosmetic surgery has changed completely. I  came across so many individuals who have each explained their own reasons for surgery whether it be a breast reduction, rhinoplasty or breast enlargement. What they all have in common is that each individual has meaningful reasons for having surgery. Personally, I am happy with my body the way it is now, as I have learned to love myself again since having my operation.”


You can find further information on breast reduction surgery on our website here along with before and after photos, and FAQ’s.

To hear more of our patient stories as part of our Changing Perceptions series, keep up to date with the blog here and visit the Patient Stories section of our site here.

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