Mum-of-two Gina Truman, 53, has bravely shared photos of her “monstrous” body after learning that funding for the follow-up procedure was cut in her area.
The former restaurant worker was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer four years ago and underwent gruelling chemotherapy to treat it.
But the deadly disease returned and in April 2013 Gina had her right breast removed to get rid of the tumour.
The grandmother-of-three had been told that after the breast was removed, her skin would be expanded and an implant inserted to give her a brand new boob.
Surgeons promised that her left breast would then be lifted to make it more perky, so that her size 42C boobs would be symmetrical.
But in December, Gina was told she would no longer be having the procedure due to funding cuts – so she’ll have one new boob and one old.
She will still get the implant next month, but the decision by Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) means her left breast will not be lifted to match.
Gina said: “I’m annoyed because I was promised it and I feel let down. It’s a pathetic, stupid and disgusting postcode lottery.
“I don’t like my body at the moment, I look monstrous. I’ll never get used to it and I know I will never look exactly like I used to, which is fine.
“But one side is going to be up and one side will be down. It won’t feel right.”
But patients living six miles away in neighbouring Dorset will still be able to have the procedure, as Dorset CCG – and many others in the UK – still offer it.
Horrified Gina, of Yeovil, Somerset hit out at the local rule-change, in July 2016, calling for more NHS funding and money to be better spent.
She added: “When the surgeon said she would be able to do the reconstructive surgery, I was really happy. I got my heart set on it.
“I thought, ‘Yes, I’m going to be looking normal.’ I can’t even wear a swimming costume at the moment, or summer tops.
“Now they are saying they won’t do it at all. I think it’s disgusting. They sit behind their desks and say, ‘We sympathise,’ but they don’t have a clue.
“They don’t know unless they’ve been there. They can get in the bath without looking at themselves in the mirror and feeling disgusting.
“Some people don’t have the fight to come forward about it. I’m doing this for those people as well as myself.
“The surgeons aren’t happy either. They feel as though they have let their patients down.”
To add insult to injury, Yeovil Hospital has just forked out for a brand new, 650-space multi-storey car park where visitors have to pay £6 for four hours.
Gina said: “It must have been expensive.
“This procedure would be money better spent. You can’t put a price on how someone’s feelings.
“I haven’t got a partner and I’ve said that with the way my boobs look, I wouldn’t ever have one. I wouldn’t undress in front of them – I couldn’t.
“To have these photos taken, I put everything I was feeling to one side and just think, ‘I’m doing this for the good.’
“I don’t like looking at them, but pictures speak louder than words.
“People are suffering. They are going through a fight against cancer. Don’t put them through another fight at the end of it.”
Yeovil Hospital said the scope of its services is determined by the CCG.
“Clearly this is upsetting for them and difficult for the hospital staff who work very closely with these woman to support them through such life-changing treatment.”
Somerset CCG said it considers requests for the surgery on a case-by-case basis, but that in July 2016 it removed its policy on the ‘breast asymmetry’ treatment.
A spokesman said: “Women who had surgery for breast cancer should no longer expect to have cosmetic surgery funded and performed on their healthy breast in order to better match the size and shape of both breasts.
“At a time when there is so much demand upon cancer services, routinely funding cosmetic breast surgery on a healthy breast – and only for women who have had breast cancer – cannot be easily justified when the local health service is struggling to meet so many demands for treatment.
“It also raises issues of equity for the many women who have not had cancer and yet feel they have legitimate reasons why Somerset CCG should consider funding their breast asymmetry surgery.”