A father who suffers from "manboobs" says he has become a prisoner in his own home after the NHS refused to pay for a breast reduction.
Unemployed Lee Jardine, 23, from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, has suffered from gynecomastia - or manboobs - for the past 10 years.
But his local primary care trust says it will not pay for a breast reduction operation, which would cost Mr Jardine between 5,000 and 9,000 if he could afford to go private.
Mr Jardine, who weighs 14st, said: "It's made me a prisoner in my own home. I can't get a job. For me to leave the house, I have to have several layers of clothes on and a belt tied round my chest.
"People that sort of know me will call me names. You don't know what strangers are thinking when they look at you. I don't know whether they think I have got breasts or not."
He added: "I have had the problem since I was 13 or 14 but I didn't do anything about it. I got bullied at school but then I stopped going so that solved that.
"The first time I went to the doctors was in 2005 and they said 'no' then so I went back last November to get anti-depressants because it was getting me down.
"They had another look at me but said they wouldn't do the operation because I was too fat. But I am not obese.
"They said they would reconsider if I got down to 11st 7lb but I don't believe them. I just want the PCT to get its act together."
Partner Diane Cassidy, 19, mother of their two-year-old son Taylor, has vowed to stand by her man. She said: "I don't mind the way Lee is. I like him for his personality, not his looks.
"He could be 60st and I would still love him. It's not the looks that count."
She added: "I can't go out for a walk or do anything like go for a swim or to the beach because people come up to me and say stuff about Lee."
Mr Jardine is now hoping that Nottinghamshire County Teaching Primary Care Trust will change its mind and pay for him to have the operation. He claims that in other counties he would be given the operation and that he is the victim of a postcode lottery.
A spokeswoman for the PCT said: "Whilst we do not comment on individual cases, we do however have a clear process for any individual to have their request for funding made to the PCT.
"This considers all aspects of the patient's condition, including the views of their clinician, and a decision is taken on the basis of all relevant information."
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