Waitress who was refused breast reduction surgery on the NHS for her 36JJ bust raising funds

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A waitress whose 36JJ boobs are so big they knock over drinks at work is fundraising for a breast reduction after she was refused the operation on the NHS due to her BMI. 

Carly Smart, 21, from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, whose bust weighs 1.5st, said she’s knocked over glasses, feels ‘suffocated’ when she bends over to pick up stock and has endured the embarassment of her buttons popping open in front of customers. 

Worse, she said that she experiences painful rashes that turn her skin ‘lobster red’ and ‘smell like rotting flesh’, as well as excruciating back pain that makes her feel like her spine will ‘snap like a match stick’.

However, her local GP told her that she will only qualify for surgery with a maximum BMI of 25, and at 32 she must lose weight.  

Now at her wits’ end, a ‘heartbroken’ bridie-to-be Carly, whose dream of having a breast reduction before she walks down the aisle this August is slipping away, is fundraising for a £1,500 deposit to secure the £7,000 procedure.

Carly Smart, 21, from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, is trying to fund a £1,000 deposit for a breast reduction surgery for her 36JJ bust, costing £7,000 in total after she was refused the procedure on the NHS because her BMI is too high - even though it includes the weight of her breasts

Carly Smart, 21, from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, is trying to fund a £1,000 deposit for a breast reduction surgery for her 36JJ bust, costing £7,000 in total after she was refused the procedure on the NHS because her BMI is too high – even though it includes the weight of her breasts

Revealing how the size of her bust has caused issues at work, Carly revealed: ‘When I hold trays I have to hold them a little bit higher up because the amount of glasses I’ve knocked over with my boobs is ridiculous.

‘At one waitressing job we had to have a uniform. They weren’t catered to female bodies and didn’t fit at all. In the end, I had to get two, three XL men’s size shirts. 

‘One time all of my buttons just popped right open in front of a good five customers, it was the most embarrassing thing ever.

‘Whenever I’m in the bar and bending down to get extra stock, I’ve literally just got tits in my face. I’m just like suffocating on my boobs as I’m trying to get something.

The waitress said her large breasts get in the way of everything and that she struggles to find clothing that will fit her body properly

The waitress said her large breasts get in the way of everything and that she struggles to find clothing that will fit her body properly 

‘It’s so difficult to say this in such a serious way because if I don’t make a joke, I’ll cry.

‘I make a running joke about them at work because I know they’re obviously there. People have accidentally touched my boob and gone “Oh my God, I’m so sorry” and I’m just like “Yeah, they’re always in the way. If anything my boob touched you”.’

She’s even suffered injuries, due to her huge breasts being so unweildy.  

‘One time I didn’t even know my boob was literally touching the side of my kettle,’ she recalled. ‘I was like, “Oh my God”, so I nearly burnt my nipple off at that point.

‘I didn’t even realise it was touching it until a good 20 seconds and I was like, “Oh no, there we go”.

Carly's husband-to-be, left, came up with the idea of fundraising after a defeated Carly was denied breast reduction surgery, and told she needed to lose weight

Carly’s husband-to-be, left, came up with the idea of fundraising after a defeated Carly was denied breast reduction surgery, and told she needed to lose weight 

The 21-year-old said the rashes she gets underneath her 36JJ breasts are 'disgusting' and smell like 'rotten flesh'

The 21-year-old said the rashes she gets underneath her 36JJ breasts are ‘disgusting’ and smell like ‘rotten flesh’ 

Carly said her skin feels like it has 'chicken pox under the boob' and would like to reduce her breasts to make the ordeal stop

Carly said her skin feels like it has ‘chicken pox under the boob’ and would like to reduce her breasts to make the ordeal stop 

Carly said that she first approached the doctors at the age of 17 trying to get a breast reduction.

‘At one point I went to the doctor and explained it to them and the disgusting thing is, she turned to me and said “Maybe we’ll up your anti-depressants so you don’t have to think about it as much”,’ she said. 

Can you get breast reduction surgery on the NHS? Size of a woman’s breasts, their weight, their age, whether they smoke, will be considered before surgery is offered

Breast reduction surgery is done to reduce the size and weight of a woman’s breasts, and involves removing fat, tissue and skin from the chest.

Genes, hormones and body shape and size may determine how large a woman’s breasts are – usually they are in proportion to the rest of the body but some women’s may be exceptionally large.

Whether the NHS will offer the operation may depend on where someone lives and why they want the operation.

The NHS will not usually do a breast reduction for cosmetic reasons. 

However, it may be considered if a women is experiencing effects like backache, neck or shoulder pain, rashes or skin infections beneath the breasts, or psychological distress. 

The NHS may also consider the size of a woman’s breasts, their weight, their age, whether they smoke, and whether other solutions have been tried.

And local funding availability also plays a role – different NHS boards around the country have different criteria so women living in some areas may be more able to get the surgery than those in others. 

Source: NHS Choices 

‘I was like, “What? You’re going to up my anti-depressants so I don’t think about my boobs as much?”. That was the most ridiculous saying I’ve ever heard.

‘I think that was the point where I was like, “Yeah, I’m not getting any help here at all”.

‘One of the reasons was my BMI. I explained that my boobs were quite heavy and asked why that was included in the BMI still. They said that was just how it is, they couldn’t change specifications.

‘The other thing was the fact that it’s an expensive surgery, it’s very unlikely that I’ll get it and that they couldn’t afford it, basically.

‘All I get told is, “Lose weight, lose weight, lose weight”.

‘I’ve been to a surgeon before and it was a really bad experience because he looked at me and was like, “Your BMI is really high so the NHS won’t take you and I won’t take you either” and basically just like turned to me and said, “Oh, you’re obese”.

‘He basically wants me to get down to a ridiculous size. My BMI is at 32 now and he wants me to get to 25. But I think I would break my back if I was that slim with my boobs. I don’t think my body would be able to cope, it can hardly cope as it is.’

Carly said that her situation is complicated by the fact she had an eating disorder as a teenager, meaning that dieting can be a ‘slippery slope’ for her back into a negative mindset about her body.  

She said: ‘Even though I’m only 21, I feel like I’ve lost so much of my youth because I can’t move like other people, it does affect my day-to-day life.

‘It physically hurts. Under my boobs I get extreme rashes and they are really painful. It goes to the point where my skin is lobster red.

‘It gets to the point where it’s like an itch where it hurts. The only other way I can explain it is if you had chickenpox all under your boobs. I do find that it’s disgusting, but it smells like rotting flesh.

‘They just hang off of me. It’s really difficult, I can’t really control where they are. Wearing a bra is the best bet, but it also hurts.

‘Whenever I’m home I try to not wear a bra as much as possible because whenever take it off my boobs feel like they’re being ripped off my body, they’re very heavy.

The weight of Carly's 36JJ breast is included in her BMI, which stands at 32. She needs a BMI of 25 in order to get the procedure on the NHS

The weight of Carly’s 36JJ breast is included in her BMI, which stands at 32. She needs a BMI of 25 in order to get the procedure on the NHS 

The 21-year-old said she struggles to dress due to her breasts

Carly often has to size up in order to fit her bust into her outfits

The 21-year-old said she struggles to dress due to her breasts, and often has to size up in order to fit her bust into her outfits

Carly said she was told to lose weight in order to get the procedure, but revealed she suffered an eating disorder as a teen and does not want to get on the 'slippery slope' again

Carly said she was told to lose weight in order to get the procedure, but revealed she suffered an eating disorder as a teen and does not want to get on the ‘slippery slope’ again 

Carly said her breasts are so big she also suffers from painful marks from her bra straps because her breasts are too big for the fabric

Carly said her breasts are so big she also suffers from painful marks from her bra straps because her breasts are too big for the fabric 

‘My back pain is ridiculous at points. Whenever I came home from school I used to just lie on my floor and cry. 

It felt like my back was about to snap like a match stick, it was horrible.’

Carly wears size 20-24 clothes due to the size of her bust which are either too tight or leave her ‘drowning’ in fabric – and that she feels like an ‘absolute tent’ in baggy t-shirts.

Carly said: ‘I feel like I can’t keep control of my body. I don’t feel like one person, I feel like I’ve got to carry these two lumps around with me. It’s so weird. It’s a lot.

Carly and her partner have launched a GoFundMe in hopes of funding the surgery and has raised £165 so far

Carly and her partner have launched a GoFundMe in hopes of funding the surgery and has raised £165 so far

Carly said she hopes  to get the procedure done before her wedding day but knows it probably won't be possible

Carly said she hopes  to get the procedure done before her wedding day but knows it probably won’t be possible 

‘It’s horrible because sometimes I don’t feel comfortable wearing anything, but I obviously I have to wear something and don’t want to be naked. I just don’t want to be in my body anymore.

‘My partner is really supportive. Obviously he loves me how I am and likes my body, but he also sees the struggles that I go through.

‘When I was having an especially bad day he went away for a while and came back and was like: “Right, so here’s my bank account and I’ve opened up this savings account for a breast reduction and we’re going to do this”.

‘I literally cried.’

The waitress said her breasts get in the way of her everyday life and turn the simplest of tasks into chores

The waitress said her breasts get in the way of her everyday life and turn the simplest of tasks into chores 

Carly said that she hardly has any bras given they’re up to £50 a pop and that when her dog tries to lie beside her in bed he’ll manage to step on her breast which relentlessly gets in the way.

The 21-year-old has made her own jewellery to sell to help raise some cash for the procedure which she hopes will reduce her cup size to a more manageable DD cup.

Carly said: ‘Ideally I want to have the surgery before getting married and I know that’s not going to happen, which is honestly heartbreaking.

‘It was why we started a savings pot because I was so distraught and hated the idea of walking down the aisle with my boobs. Now it’s come to a reality that I’m going to have to either way.

The NHS said they could not ignore the policies put in place for breast reduction surgery which require a BMI of 25

The NHS said they could not ignore the policies put in place for breast reduction surgery which require a BMI of 25 

The 21-year-old said her breasts were her biggest insecurities and shared her story on social media to raise funds

The 21-year-old said her breasts were her biggest insecurities and shared her story on social media to raise funds

‘I was very reluctant to set up a GoFundMe because it is like a charity and I felt bad because everyone’s telling me “This is a cosmetic surgery”. I just felt guilty because it was like “Hey, give me money so I can have a boob job”, and it obviously wasn’t exactly that.

‘In the end, I was like “I’ve made these earrings, I’ve already said a bit of my story, I’m just going to be open about it” and I made a video and put it on my Instagram and the amount of people that messaged me and it made me go “You know what, I think people would actually help”.

‘I hate the idea of asking for money for something that I want, but it’s a need as well.’

Carly said she makes jokes about her breasts all the time because otherwise she'd be crying, due to the health issues and complications her bust has caused her throughout the years

Carly said she makes jokes about her breasts all the time because otherwise she’d be crying, due to the health issues and complications her bust has caused her throughout the years

A spokesperson for Northamptonshire CCG said: ‘Although we are unable to comment on individual cases, our Breast Reconstruction Policy sets out the criteria for patients seeking funding for Breast Reduction Surgery and is followed by all General Practices in the Northamptonshire CCG catchment area.

‘This policy is one of a number of Prior Approval Policies that have been put in place to make the best use of NHS funds and ensure we can efficiently manage our limited resources while caring effectively for our local population.

‘This often means we have to make difficult choices about where we invest resources to deliver the greatest benefit and the Prior Approval Scheme sets out the criteria that must be met before the procedure or treatment can be carried out to ensure fairness and transparency.’

You can donate to Carly’s GoFundMe here.  

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