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 the 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).
It is possible to reduce the breasts size very significantly. Sometimes when patients want “almost nothing left” the reduction should be done in 2 stages. The concern with the amount of tissue removed is related to blood flow to the remaining tissue; if too much tissue is removed in one operation the blood flow to the remaining tissue (including nipple/areola) may be compromised. Part of the tissue that is left in place is called the “pedicle"; this segment of tissue is responsible for delivering the blood supply to the nipple/areola tissue. If the pedicle is made too small (in the effort to reduce the breasts as much as possible) then patient will likely have problems with tissue survival. Doing the procedure in more than one stage allows the tissues to acclimate to the surgically decreased blood flow before further tissue removal (and potentially further decreased blood flow) occurs ( with the 2nd stage operation).
The other concern with overly aggressive breast reduction surgery is patient dissatisfaction afterwards. It is not unusual for patients who have lived with very large breasts to want to have as much as possible removed. Care must be taken to be judicious in this removal to avoid an outcome where the breasts are too small in relation (proportionately) to the patient's other body parts. Again, it is not uncommon, for patients' breasts to become smaller ( after the breast reduction procedure) with time and/or weight loss- breast augmentation may become necessary to achieve the patient size goals.
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 are working with a well-trained/experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.
I hope this helps.