Woman, 22, With ‘Four Breasts’ Finally Has Surgery After NHS Kept Refusing Operation Joseph Muna Published in Jan 2021 / Updated in Feb 2021 A woman who developed four breasts in her teen years finally undergoes surgery after the NHS refused to remove her extra boobs. Phoebe Ellis was left traumatized by her two extra breasts, which sprout under her armpits. She first noticed the first of the two tennis ball-sized breasts hanging from her left armpit when she was just 12. And while she was 15, she spotted another one on her right-hand side. Ellis spent her teenage years suicidal and desperate for answers while hiding her ‘freak’ body under baggy clothes. She explained: “I wouldn’t wear a bikini on the beach and was always making an excuse out of swimming.”“We did PE every day, and it was hard maintaining multiple lies all the time. It was my secret shame.” Her condition also hugely impacted her sex life as she never felt comfortable getting intimate with men. She added: “The boyfriends I had would have no idea I had them, and I would never ever show them.”“I could never feel comfortable with someone because I was ashamed of them thinking I was a freak.”“I never felt sexy and never felt wanted. And I felt weird and gross. Baggy T-shirts were my best friend.” Ellis’s extra breasts would also become painful during her period. So, she went on the contraceptive pill, which eased her pain. She explained: “It hurt every time my arms brushed against them and they were excruciatingly sore and tender when I came on every month.”“I went on the Pill, and that stopped them hurting so much. But I didn’t know what I could do about them – or even what they were.”“I had really big boobs, so I thought it could be something to do with them, but I wasn’t sure.” This only became worse when Ellis started fearing her extra boobs could actually be cancerous tumors. So, she decided to seek help from the NHS, but they turned her away multiple times. They told her that her issue was ‘cosmetic,’ therefore, not eligible for free surgery. Ten years later, Ellis consulted a private doctor who diagnosed her with accessory breast tissue. This condition causes breast tissue to grow elsewhere, sometimes with nipples. The rare condition affects between 2 and 6 % of women. According to Ellis’s surgeon, Dr. Aamer Khan: “Phoebe had accessory axillary breast tissue which presented like additional breasts under her arms.”“The condition is known as accessory breasts, polymastia or supernumerary breasts.”“Accessory breast tissue is abnormal accessory breast tissue which grows in addition to normal breast tissue.”“In some cases, extra breasts may appear with nipples or areolae, or both. It is more common in women but can also affect men.”“The condition is congenital, it is present from birth, and patients like Phoebe do not notice it until they reach puberty.” Ellis later booked surgery with Dr. Khan and finally underwent a successful procedure to remove the lumps. The treatment cost her around $7,500, but it was totally worth it. Ellis is now raising awareness of her rare condition to help other young women going through similar situations. She said: “When I was alone, I had nobody to look up to and no information. It was impossible to find anything, so I thought I was a freak.”“I want young girls not to hide away in shame and to let it affect the rest of your life.” Ellis has also plucked up the courage to join the gym and can now live a normal life.