Can A 16 Year Old Get a Breast Reduction from a D to A High B or Low C?

I am 16 and I have back problems relating to my chest size. I am very small everywhere else. I weight 117lbs and am 5ft 1. Also, if this is possible, would it be covered by any insurance?

Doctor Answers (5)

From a D cup to a B or C cup

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A patient 16 years of age, can undergo reduction mammoplasty for relatively large breast size and symptomatology. They should have achieved what would appear to be maturation without apparent immediate further growth.  Breasts reduction can go from a D down to any size, but usually remaining the volume of a B or low C, means better projection, greater chance of breast feeding and generally less complications. 


Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Breast Reduction for 16 Year Old?

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Thank you for the question.

It sounds like  you are dealing with juvenile breast hypertrophy along with the physical and psychosocial consequences of this diagnosis. In other words, the breasts are too large for your frame causing  both physical and psychological distress.

As  you think  about  breast reduction surgery make sure you do your homework and understand the potential risks and complications associated with  the procedure.  Unsatisfactory scarring is  one of the potential complications. Make sure you also understands that further surgery may be necessary in the future (for example if the breasts were to grow in size again).

On the other hand, breast reduction surgery is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform and I think that for the right teenager (enough symptoms) it may be an excellent option (regardless of the age).

Sometimes breast  reduction surgery is covered through health insurance. The best way to obtain insurance coverage for breast reduction surgery involves some “hoops” to jump through. The more documentation you have (for example, from your primary care doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor etc.) the better when it comes to obtaining insurance “authorization” for the procedure.
This documentation and letter/pictures from your plastic surgeon will help you obtain authorization.

Make sure you sek consultation with well-trained/experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.


I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 680 reviews

16 Year Old for Breast Reduction

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You should ideally wait until you have physically matured. Also, insurance is unlikely to cover the procedure for a 16 year old. Consult with three to four board cerified plastic surgeons to explore your options. Unless the prevailing opinion is to perform surgery, then it is best to wait.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

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Should you have a breast reduction at age 16

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Facts are you will continue to grow and develop perhaps until age 22, and many would favor breast reduction at age 18 or later. This gives some assurance that your breast growth has slowed, and you are at an age where you can fully understand the trade-off, and make a good decision. It also helps to be out of high school and a bit away from where all might know you too well. In the mean time take all 'conservative' measures such as physical therapy support bras, and collect a record to indicate to your insurance that only reduction will help you.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast reduction at age 16

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Insurance companies began denying breast reductions for patients under age 18 about three years ago on the basis that they aren't fully grown. Typically, when reducing a young woman, I would not recommend a C cup as, given recognized weight gains that tend to occur over time, this will put you back to where you started out eventually. In the meantime, see a physical therapist or chiropractor and begin a program of what the insurance companies love to call conservative medical management, of at least six months duration. Make sure that your family doctor notes your complaints in your medical chart. Document, document and document some more so that, when you do turn 18, you will have all your ducks in a row to qualify for the surgery.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.