A young Hartlepool woman has spoken out about how breast surgery has changed her life.
Lauren Watson said taking the plunge to have the surgery has helped her confidence sky rocket and she feels more comfortable in the clothes she likes to wear.
Since the age of 14 Lauren had struggled with the way her breasts looked and wanted surgery to change them and give her more body confidence.
There was an extreme difference in the size of her breasts, one was a C cup and the other an A cup, so the procedures she had were an uplift and implants to even them.
The 22-year-old said: "This didn't just happen overnight, I was unhappy for years about my body – mainly on how I looked in my clothes."
Lauren was knocked back numerous times with each medical review saying she still had time to fully grow and surgery wouldn’t be an option.
It was her grandmother, Jean Watson, who first suggested the prospect of Lauren having the surgery done at a private hospital.
She said: "My grandma has been amazing she even went with me for my first consultation. I couldn't have done this without her help."
Lauren, who is currently studying for her Masters in Forensic Psychology at Teesside University and works in retail part time, said: "I can’t pretend I wasn’t a little scared and nervous about the prospect of having surgery, but at the same time I was also excited. I did some research online and read magazine articles as I didn't really know how to go about initiating the surgery.
"I take a lot of pride in my appearance so when I looked in the mirror, I wanted to feel confident and comfortable in what I saw and for years I didn’t like what was looking back at me.
"No amount of make-up made any difference to alter my mood as in my mind it was my body that was the problem."
But, since having the operation at Nuffield Health Tees Hospital, Lauren says the change in her emotions is immeasurable.
She said: "I've been able to be more expressive and I just feel more comfortable in myself.
"My confidence has sky rocketed and it's possibly the best thing I've done so far in my personal life. It has changed my life an unbelievable amount."
Chris Dunkin, Consultant Cosmetic Surgeon at Nuffield Health Tees Hospital, said: "Breasts are an important part of body confidence for women. Most women have a slight difference between their breasts. But when they are completely different it can be very distressing.
"I spend a lot of time helping women improve the overall look of their breasts. This might be because they didn't fully develop at a younger age or because their breasts changed after having children.
"Surgery can also help restore confidence and enable women to wear the clothes they want to wear, and enjoy activities they may have avoided in the past like in the case of Lauren.
"It is rewarding to see the level of confidence this type of treatment can give a person and enables them to approach life in a whole new way."