16 with Abnormally Saggy Breasts! What's Wrong?

I started my period in 4th grade, I have very very saggy breasts.. I feel as if I didn't develop correctly. My breast have never been full. This is a hard blow on my self esteem, I have seen a plastic surgeon and he suggested that he would do a breast lift on me because technically it'd be illegal to put a implant in me at my age. I don't understand what would cause this, I feel not normal.. can someone explain?

Doctor Answers (8)

Premature Saggy Breasts

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Unfortunately, you have not described the size of your breasts or provided any photographs.  However, if you are satisfied with the size of your breasts then you need a lift.  There is a new technique called The Ultimate Breast Lift which required no vertical scar such lollipop or boat anchor incisions.  If you are dissatisfied with the size of your breasts then you will need implants as well.  Both procedures can be done simultaneously to give you the result you desire.  Of course, since you are 16 you will need parental consent and only saline implants are approved at this age.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.


Texas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Breasts Continue to Develop and Mature Through Adolescence and Teen Years

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There is not an absolute time as to when a woman's breasts starts and stops development.  Generally, growth spurts and maturation of the breasts are complete by age 18 although this can vary.  Surgery to the breasts is a  personal matter and the timing can be decided for an indiviual who is still a minor by discussion and agreement among the plastic surgeon, legal guardians, and the individual, herself.  With that said, puberty can start early in some girls and breasts can undergo rapid enlargement (also known as virginal hypertrophy).  When maturation slows and especially there is weight loss associated with it, there can be loss of breast volume and sagginess to the breasts.  Once it is decided that a surgery is appropriate, a lift can be performed to tighten up the skin for a fuller look or an implant may be used to fill out some of the loose skin envelope associated with sagging. In many cases, when an implant is used, a lift will also be necessary to tighten the skin for things to look nice and perky.

Richard H. Lee, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

A Lift Does Not Increase Breast Size

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A lift right now would probably be premature.  If you want more fullness with an increase in breast size you would need a breast implant.  Work with your parents on this issue as you can be helped.  It's a matter of time.

Keith Denkler, MD
Marin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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16 with Abnormally Saggy Breasts! What's Wrong?

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There is nothing illegal about a lift or implants at your age, but you would need your parents' permission. I don't do either of those procedures on young patients until they are sure their breast size and shape has not changed for at least 12 months. Once you can be sure your breasts are done changing, you should visit several surgeons, probably 3-4 of them, with your Mother and find one who is comfortable treating your problem.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

What is wrong with breast shape at 16

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Breast shape is largely inherited, and sag or ptosis can be an inborn trait. You are not too young for breast implants though you would need parental permission. Also your breast will continue to develop and change until you early twenties so it is best to buy great bras and wait things out.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

16 With Sagging Breasts

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Unfortunately your genes determined the type of breasts you ended up with.  Feeling "abnormal" is really horrible, especially at your age.  Doing a breast lift initially would be a great improvement as far as the position of your breasts. This may give you the result you are trying to achieve.  You may, at a later time want to consider implants to give you a bit more volume.  

James E. Murphy, MD, FACS
Reno Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Breast sagging can be genetic

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Thank you for your question and I'm sorry that you feel 'abnormal.'  It is likely that saggy breasts are in your genes and has nothing to do with anything that you have done. Fortunately, a breast left can take care of sagging and implants can give you the size and fullness that most women like to have. You may want to take care of the sagging first and get implants when you are 'of age' or wait and do it all at one time. Good luck.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

All breasts develop differently!

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I am sorry to hear you are dissatisfied with how your breasts developed; "saggy" is something you should be having after several children and breast-feeding, not at your age!

But, you can take some relief in knowing that every woman develops differently compared to other women. Only a tiny minority of women have the "perfect breasts" you might see in an adult magazine, movie screen, fashion magazine, or Victoria's Secret catalog! You are quite normal, but you don't like how your breasts look! And that's OK!

You can indeed have plastic surgery once your growth has stopped and been stable for at least a year; otherwise, an over-eager plastic surgeon can give his over-eager patient a result that requires re-operation! So be patient, research your plastic surgeon options carefully, and when your growth has stabilized and you are ready to have surgery, you can achieve the improvements you seek! (I understand that you may be there now, so if that is the case, I'd get additional opinions from ABPS-certified plastic surgeons and include your parents in the discussions, since you will need their consent for ANY surgery--and probably their financial help as well).

BTW, implants are NOT illegal at any age, but require parental consent before the age of 18; silicone implants before the age of 22 are considered "off-label" use (but still perfectly legal) in an appropriately-informed patient.

Depending on the degree of "sagginess" your breasts exhibit, you may well require a lift or a lift plus implants. These operations cost between $8000 and $11,000; an augmentation alone (implants only) is about $6000, but may not be applicable if your nipples point downwards or are below the inframammary creases.

For more information, click on the web reference link below for my "Comprehensive Guide to Breast Augmentation." Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.