MOTHER-OF-ONE Jennie Smith has described how breast reduction surgery transformed her life.
The NHS manager, from Uttoxeter, paid £5,500 to reduce her bust from 34GG to 34D after being teased while training to be a nurse.
Mrs Smith said: "My uniform couldn't contain my top half - I looked like Barbara Windsor in a Carry On film.
"I found anything sporty extremely embarrassing. It was impossible to find a sports bra my size and I felt everyone was looking at me.
"I suffered from back and neck pain and my underwired bras dug into my skin. It was difficult to buy pretty dresses because I was a size 12 on the bottom and a size 16 on top.
"I tried dieting, but the weight came off everywhere else, which just made my boobs look even bigger. I hated them."
But after her husband Peter suggested breast reduction, known as mammaplasty, she underwent the surgery in April. The procedure removed four pounds of weight from her breasts.
The 35-year-old, who also lives with five-year-old daughter Isla, said: "My husband could see it was affecting my confidence. I never wore a bikini on holiday and was reluctant to wear anything too revealing even for him. I would stop and hunch when I walked to hide my breasts.
"I'm a lot more outgoing and friends at work say they have noticed a difference. My husband is always complimenting me and we're able to do activities as a family, which has made us closer.
"I love being able to go into a normal bra shop and buy a bra that doesn't cost £50 because it isn't a specialist size.
"We went to Portugal a few weeks ago and I wore normal summer clothes and fitted tops. I was proud of what I looked like."
According to consultant plastic surgeon Sukh Rayatt, who works at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire (UHNS), around 10 to 15 breast reductions are done annually on the NHS. Self-funded procedures are done once a fortnight.
Mr Rayatt added: "It's fantastic to see a breast reduction procedure that's made an improvement to someone's life. Despite it being a big operation, I'd say about 98 per cent of patients are happy that they've had it done.
"Over a certain size, breasts can become a burden psychologically and physically in terms of posture because some people do hunch to hide their breasts.
"Larger breasts can cause shoulder and back problems and can cause bra straps to dig in.
"Heavy weight on your chest can also affect your breathing. Medical studies have shown that larger breasts reduce your vital capacity – the maximum amount you can inhale and exhale.
"In some cases, breast reduction patients have said that the procedure has helped their asthma."