Law student, 21, crowdfunds £5,000 to have her 34J breast reduced in private operation


A law student who crowdfunded a private operation to reduce her 34J breasts to a 32D after being turned down by the NHS claims she was warned she would need a wheelchair without surgery as large breasts could ‘crush her spine’.

Amber Roach, 21, from Bushey in Hertfordshire had 3.5 pounds of breast tissue removed in a two-and-a-half hour procedure on November 16 – and is now celebrating her first New Year since puberty without ‘needing an industrial strength bra.’

Encouraged by her housemates, The New Look sales assistant, who is a petite 5ft 3in,  decided to crowdfund with a £5,000 target to pay for a breast reduction operation, instead of asking for presents for her 21st birthday on September 22.

Amber is pictured after the reduction

Amber Roach, 21, from Bushey in Hertfordshire had 3.5 pounds of breast tissue removed in a two-and-a-half hour procedure on November 16 – and is now celebrating her first New Year since puberty without ‘needing an industrial strength bra.’ She is pictured left before the reduction and right after

The law student, right (a friend left), who crowdfunded a private operation to reduce her 34J breasts to a 32D after being turned down by the NHS claims she was warned she would need a wheelchair without surgery as large breasts could 'crush her spine'.

The law student, right (a friend left), who crowdfunded a private operation to reduce her 34J breasts to a 32D after being turned down by the NHS claims she was warned she would need a wheelchair without surgery as large breasts could ‘crush her spine’.

 Before the surgery, Amber could not get out of bed for a month, because of back pain caused by the weight of her breasts – forcing her to take prescribed painkillers like codeine.

‘I’d been told by my physiotherapist that if I didn’t carry on doing the Pilates exercises she had taught me, I might end up in a wheelchair or have severe issues in middle age because my spine could crumble,’ she said. 

Speaking after the operation she added: ‘I look at myself side-on in the mirror now and my boobs actually fit in the reflection, not 10 metres across the room. It is so different.

‘I got a sports bra from my sister, Robyn, for Christmas and went for a short run. Not getting a black eye was amazing.

Encouraged by her housemates, The New Look sales assistant, who is a petite 5ft 3in, decided to crowdfund with a £5,000 target to pay for a breast reduction operation, instead of asking for presents for her 21st birthday on September 22. She is pictured in a surgical bra after the operation

Encouraged by her housemates, The New Look sales assistant, who is a petite 5ft 3in, decided to crowdfund with a £5,000 target to pay for a breast reduction operation, instead of asking for presents for her 21st birthday on September 22. She is pictured in a surgical bra after the operation

Before the surgery Amber could not get out of bed for a month, because of back pain caused by the weight of her breasts - forcing her to take prescribed painkillers like codeine

Amber is pictured at the gym after her surgery

Before the surgery (left) Amber could not get out of bed for a month, because of back pain caused by the weight of her breasts – forcing her to take prescribed painkillers like codeine. Now she can go to the gym (right) 

CAN YOU GET BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY ON THE NHS?

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 

‘One of the things I really want to do in 2021, if the pandemic is over, is to go backpacking – I 100 per cent wouldn’t have been able to do that before. It was already like carrying a backpack on my front!’

After setting up her GoFundMe, she hit her target within a fortnight and even received £2,500 from a single donor, who wishes to stay anonymous.

 ‘He told me he had a similar issue, where he needed surgery. It was the mental health aspect of my GoFundMe that appealed to him. He didn’t want mine to get as bad as his did,’ Amber explained.

‘At the time, I thought, “It’s my 21st, I don’t want any presents, all I want is money for this reduction. That’s the best present I could have.” 

When top cosmetic surgeon Dr Reza Alamouti heard of her plight and waived his usual fee, the £5,000 she had raised was sufficient to pay for her to have the procedure on November 16 at The London Welbeck Hospital in Marylebone, central London. It would have cost her £10,000 normally, as she needed a breast reduction, a breast lift and liposuction.   

For years, Amber’s disproportionately large breasts – which made her a size 12 compared to her size 10 bottom half – had hampered her life.

They became too heavy and cumbersome for her to continue playing sport, go on one mile runs or work out in the gym.

Even simple household chores, like loading the dishwasher, became back-breaking labour.

Constantly aware of them attracting unwelcome attention and making her clumsy, they started affecting her confidence and self-worth. 

Now a size eight on the top half, she said: ‘I used to be really angry and blame my boobs for not being able to do certain things. They were like the central force behind all my other issues.

‘I wallowed in finding myself unattractive and now my boobs have gone, it is such a weight off my shoulders – physically and mentally.

Amber was just 14 when she first noticed her then DD boobs setting her apart from her classmates at Queens’ School in Bushey.

They attracted attention from the boys, which led to other girls labelling her a ‘flirt,’ which she found very upsetting.

After setting up her GoFundMe, Amber hit her target within a fortnight and even received £2,500 from a single donor, who wishes to stay anonymous.

After setting up her GoFundMe, Amber hit her target within a fortnight and even received £2,500 from a single donor, who wishes to stay anonymous.

For years, Amber's disproportionately large breasts - which made her a size 12 compared to her size 10 bottom half - had hampered her life. She is pictured after surgery

They became too heavy and cumbersome for her to continue playing sport, go on one mile runs or work out in the gym. She is pictured after surgery

For years, Amber’s disproportionately large breasts – which made her a size 12 compared to her size 10 bottom half – had hampered her life. They became too heavy and cumbersome for her to continue playing sport, go on one mile runs or work out in the gym. She is pictured after surgery

A netball fan, she even recalled having her chest bandaged down before a match, after her sports bra failed to take the strain.

She said: ‘I used to get the most ridiculous questions from classmates like, “Do you stuff tissue down your bra?” or “Are they real?” and ‘Have you had them done?’

‘What parent would let their 14-year-old get a boob job? As if I would have had surgery at that age!

‘My best friend, who was a boy, asked why I would stand pushing my chest out like a peacock – but I didn’t do it deliberately, that was just how I stood.’ 

Constantly aware of them attracting unwelcome attention and making her clumsy, they started affecting her confidence and self-worth. Amber is pictured before the surgery

Constantly aware of them attracting unwelcome attention and making her clumsy, they started affecting her confidence and self-worth. Amber is pictured before the surgery

With her boobs an even bigger 34G by the time she joined the sixth form, Amber became horribly self-conscious.

‘I just remember them looking ridiculous – cartoonish, like Jessica Rabbit,’ she said.

‘Teachers would tell me off for dressing inappropriately, when all I’d have on was a turtleneck, but it would be tight.

‘Other girls would wear the same thing and not get told off. I just felt like anything I wore was more sexualised than other students.’

Amber was just 14 when she first noticed her then DD boobs setting her apart from her classmates at Queens' School in Bushey. They attracted attention from the boys, which led to other girls labelling her a 'flirt,' which she found very upsetting. She is pictured after the surgery

Amber was just 14 when she first noticed her then DD boobs setting her apart from her classmates at Queens’ School in Bushey. They attracted attention from the boys, which led to other girls labelling her a ‘flirt,’ which she found very upsetting. She is pictured after the surgery

Amber, who has received physiotherapy since she was 14 because of back pain from her breasts, said it became so bad that she asked her GP for a reduction on the NHS. She is pictured before the surgery

Amber, who has received physiotherapy since she was 14 because of back pain from her breasts, said it became so bad that she asked her GP for a reduction on the NHS. She is pictured before the surgery

Amber, who has received physiotherapy since she was 14 because of back pain from her breasts, said it became so bad that she asked her GP for a reduction on the NHS.

But she was told to wait until she was 18, when she was again refused, despite her boobs by then being a J cup.

‘I opened the NHS letter saying no and just burst out crying,’ she said. ‘My sister, who is 19, said she’s never seen me cry like that before.’

When she moved to study law at the University of Leeds in 2019, Amber said she felt judged by her large breasts, rather than by her personality.

She said: ‘It was like having big boobs was an invitation for both sexes to touch me, too!

When she moved to study law at the University of Leeds in 2019, Amber said she felt judged by her large breasts, rather than by her personality. She is pictured with her sister

When she moved to study law at the University of Leeds in 2019, Amber said she felt judged by her large breasts, rather than by her personality. She is pictured with her sister

Amber is pictured with her sister Robyn near their home in Bushey, Herfordshire

Amber is pictured with her sister Robyn near their home in Bushey, Herfordshire

‘That’s why I always saw them so negatively, because they brought the wrong attention.

‘I used to put my phone in my bra and would always get people saying, ‘Watch out you don’t lose it down there!’ I’d laugh along with them, but it was really not funny.’

Nights out were also a minefield – starting with Amber spending hours trawling the Internet for an outfit to cover her cleavage.

Then there were the numerous hazards when she was out on the town.

She said: ‘I wouldn’t be wearing anything too revealing for a night out with the girls, but the men would still be complete predators.

Amber is pictured before the surgery

Amber is pictured after the surgery

Amber says she has more options now for was to dress. She is pictured before the surgery (left) and after (right)

‘That would make me feel embarrassed because I didn’t want that attention.

‘I slapped every man that touched me.

‘When I was abroad in Spain with my best friend and her family, a weird old man put his hand up my skirt once, pretending to lose his wallet – and I punched him. It was horrible.’

Amber also weathered cruel comments from other women.

She said: ‘Walking down the street, it was 50/50 with men and women.

‘Women would stare and say, “Jesus Christ, look at those boobs. They were clearly almost freakish”‘

During the two-and-a-half hour operation, Harley Street plastic surgeon Dr Alamouti, director of New You, removed breast tissue and moved Amber's nipples 6 inches , leaving anchor shaped scars on her chest that will fade over the next 18 months - but will not disappear. Amber is pictured with a friend at University

During the two-and-a-half hour operation, Harley Street plastic surgeon Dr Alamouti, director of New You, removed breast tissue and moved Amber’s nipples 6 inches , leaving anchor shaped scars on her chest that will fade over the next 18 months – but will not disappear. Amber is pictured with a friend at University

‘I’d be sat at the table having a coffee in the morning and I’d stand up and either my boobs would go in the food or they’d knock something over.’  

During the two-and-a-half hour operation, Harley Street plastic surgeon Dr Alamouti, director of New You, removed  breast tissue and moved Amber’s nipples 6 inches , leaving anchor shaped scars on her chest that will fade over the next 18 months – but will not disappear.

Pleased with the resulting symmetry of her breasts and the fact both her nipples had survived the op, with close to full sensation, he deemed the procedure a success.

Afterwards, Amber recalled: ‘I couldn’t sleep, even though I was so shattered, because I was so excited.

Amber, pictured with her sister,  is now looking forward to buying affordable, pretty underwear and bikinis in Primark, rather than shopping at more expensive, specialist websites.

Amber, pictured with her sister,  is now looking forward to buying affordable, pretty underwear and bikinis in Primark, rather than shopping at more expensive, specialist websites.

‘When I went to the toilet for the first time, I looked in the mirror and thought, “Oh my gosh, where have they gone?”

‘Straight out of surgery, my breasts were tight and looked smaller than they are now.

‘I thought, “Well done.” I felt like I had accomplished something.’

Required to wear a surgical bra for six weeks, she could not do any heavy-lifting for a month after the operation.

But Amber is now looking forward to buying affordable, pretty underwear and bikinis in Primark, rather than shopping at more expensive, specialist websites.

Amber - who deferred the first term of her second year of university to have the surgery - now feels more confident about achieving her goal to become a lawyer, without her oversized boobs holding her back. She is pictured left surgery

Amber is pictured after surgery

Amber – who deferred the first term of her second year of university to have the surgery – now feels more confident about achieving her goal to become a lawyer, without her oversized boobs holding her back. She is pictured left before surgery and right after

Amber feels she can now play sport and exercise again. She is pictured as a teenager in her netball outfit

Amber feels she can now play sport and exercise again. She is pictured as a teenager in her netball outfit

She has also received huge support from her electrician boyfriend, who wishes to stay anonymous, but thinks she looks amazing.

She said: ‘He is so happy for me. He thinks I look more proportionate – he obviously was attracted to me before as well – but now he can see I’m a lot happier and brighter, and that it suits me. He knew I made the right decision.

‘A lot of people have asked what my boyfriend thinks, and said “I bet he’s sad” I had the reduction – but he prefers me like this because he’s happy that I’m happy.’

Amber – who deferred the first term of her second year of university to have the surgery – now feels more confident about achieving her goal to become a lawyer, without her oversized boobs holding her back.

And she feels she has paved the way for other young women, who are unhappily living with very large breasts, to talk about their feelings and maybe find a way to learn to love themselves without taking the drastic action she has.

She said: ‘I really had reached the end of the road. My breasts were making me unhappy and they were impacting on my physical health.

‘I am incredibly grateful to the people who made my surgery possible, but I’ve said to many girls on social media not to feel under pressure to have a boob reduction. Unless it is affecting their health, they should just learn to love them.’

Dr Alamouti said he had seen a rise in the number of teenagers and younger women having breast reduction procedures.

But he advises young women to first speak to their GP to see if they qualify for a reduction on the NHS, to see a physiotherapist to make sure they have a properly fitted bra and to research surgeons properly before deciding to go private.

‘I know how difficult and debilitating very large breasts can be,’ he said.

‘The issue isn’t just the physical problems, but the psychological distress.

‘Having this operation can change lives for people like Amber.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk