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Phoebe Ellis

Find out how Phoebe got on with her Axillary Fat Removal at The Harley Street Skin Clinic

The team here at Harley Street Skin are proud to be in the happiness business - at least, it feels that way. After all, smiles all round is exactly what we're aiming for.

We've reconnected with one of our patients, the lovely Phoebe Ellis, to discuss how she got on with her Axillary Fat Removal treatment. Here's what Phoebe had to say about her experience with Harley Street Skin...

Phoebe Ellis Headshot
Phoebe Ellis With Champagne
Phoebe Ellis and Friend
Phoebe Ellis and Friend
Phoebe Ellis Outdoors

DO YOU REMEMBER THE VERY MOMENT YOU DECIDED TO GO AHEAD WITH TREATMENT?

Since the age of about 14 I'd been desperate to have something done.

I spent so long thinking 'this is an abnormality', 'I'm a freak' - but no one was taking me seriously. I tried for so long asking the NHS for help.

On my 21st birthday I received a letter from the NHS - I think it was the fourth letter - basically saying that they weren't going to go ahead with surgery because they deemed it cosmetic, it was then.

I felt so defeated; there was only so much battling that I could do to get someone to listen to me. That's when I reached out to Dr Khan.

Phoebe Ellis Before Surgery

WHAT WERE YOUR PROBLEM AREAS?

It was my armpits - it looked a bit like an embedded sort of tumour in and around my glands.

I just kinda had these 2 golf balls under my arms - in my armpits - which was so frustrating because it changes your whole silhouette.

A lot of people were kind enough to say 'oh no, they're not that bad' but it's just such an obvious thing to see, you know, because they were these great protrusions.

They were so painful all the time, too. I'd constantly get ingrown hairs or infected pores when I was shaving because they're constantly sort of folding over on themselves.

Then whenever I got a period, my glands would swell so it'd be like having two extra really painful boobs under your armpits which you've constantly got your arms weighing on!

They were so sore and really uncomfortable all the time - especially in certain tops. Shaving and finding clothes was a nightmare.

HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS?

My life has literally changed. I've honestly never felt as confident in my whole life and it was like, even when I had some stitches still in I was like 'Oh my god, I'm gonna wear this top - it's gonna be sleeveless. It's so good.

Obviously everyone has insecurities, and everyone has things that they don't like about themselves but there's a thing about not being able to wear a top and feel normal - or sexy - in front of any boyfriends or whatever. And having that power given to you, especially as a now 22-year-old woman is so empowering. It's changed my whole outlook on myself.

I had a little bit of an issue with one of them keloiding [the skin over-producing collagen and leaving a raised scar], but then I got these plasters and they're completely flat now. They're fading really well.

WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THE HARLEY STREET SKIN CLINIC THAT TOOK YOUR FANCY?

Dr Khan was the only person who ever actually validated my feelings.

When I showed him my armpits, he was instantly like 'Oh my goodness, you poor thing. That must be horrible,' and I'd only ever had doctors say 'It's not that bad'. It was such a reassurance to know that I actually had a doctor that was an advocate for me then.

Even after the surgery he said that he got so much satisfaction from doing that job - because obviously he does a lot of reconstruction and things - but he said, knowing that he'd helped a young person was a lot for him as well. Just knowing that is so nice. He's just such a wonderful person.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE PROCEDURE DAY?

Well, there was a bit of a change of plans on the day as I was supposed to have BodyTite so just 2 little incisions with the Liposuction. When he [Dr Khan] was having a real route around, he thought 'actually, we're going to have to do a whole removal.'

Obviously that made me a bit nervous, but I trusted him to make that call and I had one nurse who was just stroking my hair, doing, like, breathing exercises with me the whole time and - you know - just staying by my head and really centering me. I don't know how they did it so immaculately because even the needlework is just a work of art.

Afterwards I was quite sore for a few days, but when that subsided - oh my god - then it was like complete euphoria. The difference - even when I was still so swollen - was just incredible.

HAVE THERE BEEN ANY PERKS THAT YOU WEREN'T EXPECTING?

Not having any pain when I had a period, and also being able to shave my armpits! I know that sounds like such a small thing but just being able to shave without having to change up position all the time.

Being able to wear certain tops, feeling really comfortable in my own skin for the first time…

Also, because they removed such a large portion, there really isn't that much there to shave anymore, and I don't think I actually sweat that much in my armpits now.

I don't know if that's just me overthinking it but I just see my armpits now as the most glorious thing on my body! [laughs].

Phoebe Ellis After Surgery

WHAT WOULD YOU TELL PEOPLE THAT WERE ON THE FENCE ABOUT TAKING A SIMILAR ROUTE?

Oh, I would recommend this to EVERYONE. I had so many messages on social media from other women struggling with the same thing.

From growing up having never ever met another person with what I had, and never being able to find anything online about what I had, to now having women message me and say 'oh my god, I have this', 'I've never seen any other person with this, it's such a comfort to me', and 'this has now made me have a whole new think on how I can get rid of this' - it's amazing.

Reading all the messages and then getting other girls sending me pictures of their armpits - that has just been such an amazing feeling.'

WOULD YOU CONSIDER POPPING BACK TO THE CLINIC IN FUTURE?

Oh, absolutely. Dr Khan is a genius; it was so so worth it.

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