‘My 34KK breasts were crushing me and men constantly stared – now I’m free’
A model underwent life-changing surgery to prevent her 34KK breasts from ‘crushing’ her.
Kaeleen Stammers, from southwest London, dropped six cup sizes to 34F after the grueling three-hour operation, in which private doctors removed 2.6kg (5.7lbs) of excess weight from her breasts.
For years, the 24-year-old suffered agonizing pain from tight bras cutting into her shoulders and ribcage, but the NHS refused the surgery because her BMI was too high.
She also felt constantly tired from carrying her weight all day.
But the model, creative director and writer, now she can finally walk the streets without people watching, she said. And Ms. Stammers said she can finally breathe easy again.
Kaeleen Stammers, from South West London, dropped six cup sizes to 34F after the grueling three-hour operation, in which private doctors removed 2.6kg of excess weight from her breasts. In the photo above, before the operation.
After enduring years of severe pain and injuries to her chest and shoulders, Ms. Stammers said those problems have now disappeared overnight after surgery. Since she made a full recovery, she too can exercise properly ‘at last’. In the photo, after surgery.
“Having big breasts was a daily struggle, there wasn’t a moment’s relief,” she told MailOnline.
“I had to sleep in two sports bras just to be semi-comfortable, but I was always under the crushing weight of my breasts.”
Before the surgery, the men had also offered her money to send them photos and sleep with her, which Stammers said made her feel disgusting.
“Men would stare all day, every day, and sometimes they would make faces because they thought I had gotten ridiculous implants,” she added.
So how can you get breast reduction surgery on the NHS?
Breast reduction surgery is performed to reduce the size and weight of a woman’s breasts and involves removing fat, tissue, and skin from the chest.
Whether the NHS will offer the operation may depend on where someone lives, and their Integrated Care Board (ICB) eligibility criteria, and why they want the operation.
Some ICBs do not fund breast reduction surgery at all, and others fund it on a selective basis if you meet certain criteria.
Generally speaking, the NHS might consider you for a breast reduction if you have problems caused by having very large breasts, such as:
- Back pain
- Shoulder or neck pain
- skin irritation
- Rashes and skin infections under the breasts
- Shoulder slits for bra straps.
- Psychological distress, such as low self-esteem or depression.
- Inability to exercise or participate in sports.
ICBs also tend to have additional criteria which may include your breast size, your weight, your age, whether you smoke, and whether other options such as wearing professionally fitted bras have been tried but haven’t helped.
To check your eligibility for a breast reduction on the NHS, you should contact your GP.
The final decision is usually made by a panel of representatives from your local ICB, who will take into account information from your assessments and a review of your individual case.
“Women were also giving me dirty looks and grabbing their partner’s hand and searching their eyes to make sure they weren’t looking at me.
“I started wearing baggy clothes so I wouldn’t make them feel insecure or get a masculine look.”
He refused surgery on the NHS due to his BMI, opting to fund the operation privately.
Such operations can be a lottery of postcodes, with local chief health officers having the power to decide who to offer the surgery to.
While some don’t fund breast reduction surgery at all, others fund it selectively if you meet certain criteria, such as maintaining a BMI of less than 27 for at least one year.
The final decision is normally made after reviewing each case individually.
After contacting the private organization Spire Manchester in October 2021, he attended two consultations and sought approval from his GP.
Ms Stammers was given the green light in February 2022 and booked her operation at Oaklands Hospital in Salford for June.
He splurged £7,800 in total and applied to a broker, who paid the hospital on his behalf in advance.
Typically, private breast reduction surgery costs around £6,500 in the UK, according to the NHS.
However, this usually does not include the cost of consultations or follow-up care.
She told MailOnline: ‘Doctors removed 2.6kg of breast tissue and fat and it wasn’t until afterwards that I realized I could breathe properly and expand my lungs for the first time.
“My doctor did a fantastic job, and the hospital and aftercare staff were fantastic.”
Discharged from the hospital the day after surgery, she had two more follow-up appointments over the next two weeks, where she was assessed and had her bandages removed.
“I remember being so terrified of opening my wounds and feeling so weak that I didn’t think I would make it out of the hospital the next day.”
She added: ‘The first few weeks were very, very painful and I had to understand how morphine worked, as well as figure out what dose was right for me.
‘It was also frustrating not being able to do anything by myself.
‘My dad waited on me hand and foot, bringing me the meals my mother cooked, adjusting my pillows and taking care of me. He hardly slept.
Before the surgery (pictured), the men had offered Ms. Stammers money to send them photos and sleep with her, which made her feel disgusting. “Men would stare all day, every day, and sometimes they would make faces because they thought I had gotten ridiculous implants,” she said.
Discharged from the hospital the day after surgery, she had two more follow-up appointments over the next two weeks, where she was assessed and had her bandages removed. In the photo after the operation.
Before the surgery, she was also “dreading any social event, especially during the summer,” Stammers said, worried that people would stare at her chest. “It would be sweltering hot, my inner arms would be torn apart by my side chest and my bra scratching. Now I feel totally and completely free to express myself through fashion every day, I’m always excited to try new clothes and see how they suit my new figure. In the photo after the operation.
But after enduring years of intense pain and injuries to his chest and shoulders, Stammers said those problems have now disappeared overnight.
Since he made a full recovery, he can also exercise properly ‘at last’.
She told MailOnline: “I’ve really enjoyed pilates and yoga and hope to start my passion for netball again sometime this year.”
He refused surgery on the NHS due to his BMI, opting to fund the operation privately. Ms Stammers was given the green light in February 2022 and booked her operation at Oaklands Hospital in Salford for June. She splurged £7,800 in total and applied to a broker, who paid the hospital on her behalf in advance of her. Pictured at Oaklands Hospital
Before the surgery, she was also “dreading any social event, especially during the summer,” she said, worried that people would stare at her chest.
“It would be sweltering hot, my inner arms would be torn apart by my side chest and my bra scratching.
“Now I feel totally and completely free to express myself through fashion every day. I’m always excited to try new clothes and see how they fit my new figure.”
She added: “I feel like I have a new lease on life and I don’t have to question my hopes, dreams, desires and ability to do mundane things.”
He also recently launched a TikTok account to share his experience in hopes of helping others.
Asked what advice he had for others contemplating the same procedure, he said: ‘Don’t wait too long. It will be the best decision you ever made.
“Join the breast reduction communities on Facebook and elsewhere to understand more about tops and the tricks to healing well.”
She added: ‘Every person I’ve seen wishes they had done it years before, in their prime.
“Your body will look, feel, and change drastically post-op, but just go with the flow and the process.”