Real estate agent Ferrell went under the knife in March last year to have her E cup breasts reduced, after suffering years of back pain.
But instead of the smaller boobs she had hoped for the 65-year-old was left with fat necrosis – a lump of dead tissue – under her right armpit.
“I’ve been left in a mess. I have a fat necrosis in my right breast, and a third breast- made up of fat and tissue – under my arm,” she said.
“The first time I saw the lump in the mirror, I cried and cried. I’ve always been a go-getter, so it isn’t in my nature to feel this way.
“This has caused so many emotional issues. I’m constantly so conscious of what I wear and how I move, as the breast can fall out of the side of my top. I’m horrified at the thought of being seen in public like that.”
Ferrell, from California, is now facing complete reconstructive surgery if she wants to correct her breasts.
By the age of 14, Ferrell was already a D cup, and her boobs grew over the years as she gained weight leading to constant back problems.
She had always planned to have reduction surgery but put her plans on hold after her son, Cortney, took his own life in 2014.
“He was always so well loved, really charismatic and bright,” she said.
“After he passed, I could barely do anything. I struggled so much with my grief.
“My operation was supposed to be a way of me regaining my confidence and getting back out there – I can’t believe this is how things turned out.”
Meeting with a surgeon early last year, Ferrell hoped to go back down to a D cup – though ended up being taken to a B cup.
“I went under general anaesthetic for the procedure in March 2017, so by the time I woke up, the damage was already done,” she said.
She had to wear surgical bras and bandages, so it took about two weeks for Ferrell to see what had actually happened.
Although she felt discomfort under her right arm, she thought it was just her body recovering.
“I was incredibly careful about keeping the area clean. I had a nurse friend help me out, and she wore surgical gloves to take my dressings off,” she said.
“The first time I properly saw myself, I was home alone and caught sight of a lump in the mirror.
“I took a proper look and just burst into tears. It looked literally like a third breast.”
Next, Ferrell began noticing a worrying fatty discharge, which she believes was coming from her breasts.
“I was excreting lumps out of my nipple. At first, they looked like long, thin worms, and I thought, ‘Oh my god, what is that?’ Then one day, a marble-sized piece of tissue fell away.
“Panicking, I raced to the emergency room of a nearby hospital, where they told me it looked like I’d had botched surgery.
“I was put on antibiotics, but I have been left with some fatty lumps that need removing. There’s one piece of dead tissue in particular, measuring 2cm by 3cm, that causes severe pain.”
Ferrell believes her problems were caused by her skin being pulled too tight during her surgery.
Now she’s desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the damage.
“I struggle to go anywhere without my son Joe, he’s 46. He’s had to take on an awful lot.
“I ask him to walk behind me to check that the lump under my arm isn’t showing.
“It is softening and pushing back a little, but it’s still a third breast under my arm.
“I can’t believe I’m now having to consider a full reconstruction, including implants, so I can look normal again.
“My insurance company have said they would help cover it but I need to lose a little weight before I can have the surgery and I’m nervous to have another operation.”
Desperate, Ferrell has even written to reality show Botched, asking for help but, for now, all she can do is wait.
She hopes that by sharing her story, she will encourage others to be cautious when selecting their own surgeons.
“I have nothing against people having surgery, but you must be thorough with finding your doctor,” she added.
“If they evade questions or don’t make you feel 100 per cent comfortable, then avoid them.
“Also, think very carefully and ensure you’re positive surgery is a move you want to make. The past few years have been an awful lot to deal with, but I want my story out there to help other women.”
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