Teen Breast Reduction: Waiting Necessary for Teenagers?

I'm almost 16 and I have a 40DD breast size. Do I need to wait to have a breast reduction?

Doctor Answers (17)

Teen breast reduction: waiting necessary for teenagers?

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Thank you for your question!  I hope that these answers help in making your decision.  You suffer from juvenile hypertrophy of the breasts, which is typically treated by breast reduction.  It is not uncommon to have the symptoms that you describe such as neck/back/shoulder pain as well as infections/rashes and shoulder grooving, especially in teenagers once her breasts begin to fully develop.  You can certainly wait or have the procedure done sooner - ultimately the decision will be up to you.

Once one begins to have the symptoms that you state above, consideration for a surgical procedure to ameliorate your symptoms, assist with self esteem, and allow you to get back to physical activities in your youth should be done.  Given your symptoms,  you would be an ideal candidate.  You must first discuss with your parents and pediatrician, and then consulting with a plastic surgeon for evaluation and examination to assist you in deciding if this would be the right thing for you.  Your surgeon will also go over what to expect as well as the risks and benefits of the procedure.  Overall, your symptoms should be ameliorated almost immediately and hopefully give you more self confidence and an increased activity level.  Your breasts may still continue to grow over the next several years, but it is certainly reasonable to consider this at this age with the issues that you are having.  I hope that this helps!  Good luck with your decision!


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Teen Breast Reduction

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If you have extremely large breasts you may be a candidate for a breast reduction even at an early age. I usually like to have a patients breast growth to be stable for one year prior to considering a breast lift. If there is significant hormonal stimulation the breasts can get bigger after a breast reduction. Best to consult a plastic surgeon with your parents along for the consultation.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Teen Breast Reduction Surgery

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Breast reduction surgery is one of the most predictably satisfying procedures performed today. Many women seeking breast reduction are doing it in order to alleviate back, neck and shoulder pain. Other reasons include improving one’s self image and decreasing the amount of attention people give to large breasts.

Many young women have rapid breast growth occurring during their early years of puberty. When a 16-year-old develops 40DD breasts, life can become quite difficult. In addition to the discomfort associated with large breasts, many teenagers suffer emotionally. A breast reduction in this situation can be a life changing procedure. Although it is ideal to wait until all breast growth has stopped, exceptions can be made in unusual circumstances.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

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Breast Reduction for Teenagers

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It’s obvious that you have significant breast hypertrophy and I would be surprised if you don’t have disabling symptoms.  The only treatment for this condition is breast reduction surgery.  I generally prefer to wait until the breasts have stopped growing before proceeding with breast reduction.
When patients are suffering severe symptoms, this approach may require modifications.  Under these circumstances, it may be necessary to proceed with breast reduction as soon as possible because of severe symptoms.  When this course is taken, patients may rarely require a secondary procedure because of continued breast growth.
I generally recommend consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.  Obviously your parents need to be involved in the process as well.  Breast reduction has significant benefits, and patients who undergo the procedure at an early age experience the benefits over a lifetime.
There are downsides as well.  These include the potential inability to breast feed, prolonged healing, decreased nipple sensation and scarring.  In my experience, patients who undergo breast reduction at an early age not only experience relief of their symptoms, but also an improved quality of life.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Teen Breast Reduction: Waiting Necessary for Teenagers?

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I think that a teenager with severe symptoms of macromastia should be treated with a breast reduction.  There is a possibility of future revision surgery but the urgency to relieve symptoms is paramount in my mind.  Going through your teenage years is difficult enough without having macromastia and associated symptoms and possible peer ridicule.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Waiting for Breast Reduction Often Best for Teens

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I can almost feel the emotional distress you are experiencing by the nature of your question. In your particular case waiting just a few years until you are fully grown would be best as you will have a result that is more likely to be stable. If you continue to grow after surgery then you may have to have a separate all over again for the best results. You did not provide your height and weight, but often losing some weight but being in an optimal weight range may help many.It is not too early however to educate yourself by seeing a board certified plastic surgeon for evaluation and discussion for the near future.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Breast Reduction for Teenagers

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Breast reduction surgery for teenagers is certainly possible and can be life changing. You need to understand that you will have permanent scars from it and will probably not be able to breastfeed. You also need to be a good candidate for the procedure (it sounds like you are if your breast size is stable) and mature enough to understand and make significant decisions. You should get your parents involved in the decision as they will have to sign any consents,  and you will need to have a consultation with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery for an individual evaluation. Your regular doctor should be able to help you with a referral. Good luck to you.
 

Margaret Skiles, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Breast reduction for teenager

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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 the frame causing  both physical and psychological distress.

It sounds like you have done your homework and understand the potential risk and consultations associated with breast reduction surgery. You also understand 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).

I would suggest an in-person consultation with a well-trained/experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. Best wishes.

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

16 and breast reduction

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At 16 years old you may be a bit young, but if you are of adult height and weight and are no longer growing and have regular menses, you may very well be a candidate.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Breast Reduction in Teens

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Heavy breasts can be more trying both from the physical and emotional stand point for teens.  Unlike flat chested girls, who can opt for shapely bras, you have to be more creative with what you wear and also your physical activities.  Consult with your parents, primary care and interview PS who keep an active interest and practice in breast reduction.  I agree 100% with Dr. Dunagan's observations that if you developed early and excessively, you may experience a "regrowth" of your breasts with weight gain, pregnancy/lactation and menopause. 

Your breasts are configured to respond to fluctuations in hormones and these states involve significant changes.  In preparation for a PS consultation, try to optimize your health by ensuring that your height and weight are in line with the BMI (Body Mass Index) charts, which insurance companies will use.  Ask to see photos of the best and worst results and realize that your case will be somewhere in that spectrum.  Be realistic and accept that the changes of breast reduction are not permanent but that your back, shoulders and self-image may be positively changed.  Good luck.

Lavinia Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 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.