A woman who lost an impressive six stone of weight and was left with a huge apron of flabby skin has been told she's not allowed to have an NHS tummy tuck - because she isn't fat enough.
Gemma Tremain-Bland, (who weighed 18 stone at her largest) completely changed her lifestyle in order to shed the pounds: adopting a vegan diet and doing yoga every day.
However, after her dramatic 6.5 stone weight loss, she was left with a huge apron of flabby skin, and then told she wouldn't be allowed a tummy tuck because she was under 20 stone.
Gemma at 18 stone (Credit:SWNS)
She said:"I went to see a surgeon who said this was perfect for me, I met all the criteria.
"I'd been overweight and I didn't plan to have more children - but I was outside the guidelines for getting it done on the NHS.
"The guidelines say you have to be 20 stone, and I had been two stone under. My BMI was 36.9, and now it's more like 23.
"He advised it was down to my GP surgery and said I could appeal a decision, but when I went back I was told it was a flat-out 'no.'"
Gemma after weight loss (Credit: SWNS)
Gemma had been suffering from uncomfortable sweat rashes due to the saggy skin, as well as bruising around her hip bones.
Even with the help of daily meditation she was insecure about her body, and avoided swimming pools, and wearing tight clothes.
She also claimed that the refusal plunged her into depression, and that she was concerned the regulations would encourage people to stop their weight loss journeys.
She added: "I've spoken to a number of people about excess skin and I've been brutally honest. They've said that it puts them off losing weight."
However, the Clinical Comissioning Group in Gemma's local area, who has to approve each tummy tuck for NHS funding, claimed that cosmetic surgery just isn't a priority when it came to allocating NHS funding.
A spokesperson said: "Compared to healthcare interventions which improve health and save lives, the Clinical Commissioning Group considers cosmetic procedures to be of low priority when it comes to allocating limited NHS resources."
Gemma says the NHS regulations will stop people losing weight (Credit: SWNS)
They added: "The CCG does recognise that, in certain cases, a cosmetic procedure may be justified to alleviate or improve a physical deformity or to meet a clinical need other than improvement of aesthetic appearance.
"Whilst a number of people develop loose abdominal skin after pregnancy, or as a result of substantial weight loss (whether that is surgical or dietary weight loss), abdominoplasty is not a routinely commissioned procedure.
"However, the CCG will fund the treatment in the event of an Individual Funding Request (IFR) application proving exceptional clinical need."