After enduring serious self-esteem issues all through her teenage and growing up years; a 22-year-old woman finally rid herself of what was weighing her down: her extra breasts. Phoebe Ellis, a 22-year-old woman from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, shelled out a whopping £5,500 for private surgery upon the refusal of NHS to remove the extra lumps.

Aside from hiding her “freak body” under baggy clothes and being wary of getting intimate with boyfriends; Ellis often believed that she was least desirable owing to her weird deformities. Much of her horror, Ellis discovered these two “tennis ball-sized breasts” hanging from her armpits at the age of 12. Things became worse as she lived with her family in Spain and the strange protrusions often came in the way of outdoorsy gigs. “I wouldn't wear a bikini on the beach and was always making an excuse out of swimming,” she said, to a media outlet, adding, “We did PE every day and it was hard maintaining multiple lies all the time. It was my secret shame. I never felt sexy. I never felt wanted. I felt weird and gross and baggy T-shirts were my best friend,” she added.

The extra breasts also posed serious physical issues—while Ellis was on her period—so much so, she often popped contraceptive pills during that time of the month to ease pre-menstrual symptoms.

Ms. Ellis maintained that she was always on the lookout for corrective measures—and even asked for surgery or investigations on the NHS, but was always refused.

Her lowest point was when she turned 20-years-old and opened up about her trauma to a physician. Soon after, on the morning of her 21st birthday on December 8, 2018, an NHS letter was delivered. And, it was the best birthday gift ever.

On being told her condition was cosmetic, Ellis's devastated parents began to raise funds to pay for private surgery.

Weeks after her 21st birthday Ms. Ellis visited Dr. Aamer Khan at the Harley Street Skin Clinic. “When he saw them he was horrified on behalf of me and said it must affect my life so much,” she said. "I thought that someone finally appreciated how much this was affecting me," she added.

On November 21, 2019—after being billed £5,500— Ms. Ellis had an excision procedure performed by Dr. Khan. The surgery was successful, but it wasn’t until this month when Ellis was informed about the rare condition—accessory axillary (armpit) breast tissue.

The aftermath of the surgery was far from great, but she felt a lot lighter and happier. Ms. Ellis was left with big scarring after she privately paid operation, but said the weight of the world was lifted.

Enthusing how the surgery felt like a new lease of life; she said, “New Year's Eve was the first time in 12 years I wore a top out,” adding, “I still had stitches in and the scars were really bad. But this is the precedent for my life now. I was super relieved and felt a new wave of confidence. I tell anyone who will listen and show them pictures because now they are gone I feel like I own this.'

Ms. Ellis plans on starting afresh and has her priorities set. She revealed that she’d be working out and hitting the beach often.

File picture used for representational purposes only. File picture used for representational purposes only. Pixabay