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Am I a Good Candidate for Breast Reduction? What Do I Need to Know About Breast Reduction? Can I Breastfeed Later?

Recently, I have started exploring the possibility of breast reduction surgery. I am 18 years old, weigh about 115 pounds (I would like to lose some weight but my breasts sometimes make it hard to exercise), am only 4'11 and wear a size 32G/30H. Psychologically, I am uncomfortable with my breasts but physically I don't suffer that much. I experience frequent shoulder/neck muscle tension but just attribute that to constant stress. Also, should I wait until my early 20s or go for it sooner?

Doctor Answers (6)

Am I a good candidate for breast reduction? What do I need to know about breast reduction?

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Hello! Thank you for your question.  It is a safe procedure, in which your plastic surgeon will reduce the amount of breast tissue, reshape your breasts, raise the nipple-areolar complex to its appropriate position (possibly making the size smaller, if needed), and ultimately ameliorate the possible complaints that you do have for the reason that you are having this procedure (e.g., neck/back pain, migraines, rashes/infections, shoulder grooving, etc).  You have juvenile breast hypertrophy, and if it interferes with your activities and/or causes psychosocial issues at your age, consideration for a breast reduction is warranted.  First - you should discuss our issues with your parents or guardian.  

Consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who will discuss the procedure with you, examine, and assist you in determining if this is the right procedure for you.  Voice your complaints - your insurance will likely require a detailed description of your history and complaints as well as photo and an estimate of how much tissue will be removed.  You should give a description of the therapies that you have done to ameliorate your complaints thus far.  Any other notes from other physicians is helpful.  It would also behoove you to discuss your issues yourself with your insurance carrier.  Your ability to breastfeed will be unchanged postoperatively.  Hope that this helps!  Best wishes!


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Are you a good candidate for Breast Reduction ?

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From your description you are a good candidate for breast reduction. You may have a condition that is somewhat unusual called virginal macromastia which means your breasts continue to grow at a young age to extreme proportions despite you otherwise having a slight build. I would encourage you to only consult with a board certified plastic surgeon.

With a significant reduction you may not be able to breast feed later.

Here are some general guidelines about if you are a good candidate and the procedure itself:andidates for Surgery

Candidates for Breast Reduction surgery are women who wish to have smaller breasts to achieve a more proportional appearance or to alleviate physical discomfort.  Breast reduction can correct symptoms from excessively large, heavy breasts that may cause the inability to do certain exercises, or create back, shoulder and neck pain, poor posture, bra-strap shoulder indentations and chafing or rashes under the breasts.  Women experiencing these discomforts may benefit from Breast Reduction, also called Reduction Mammoplasty.  Furthermore, large breasts may interfere with normal daily activities or exercise and will be more comfortable when reduced.  Women who feel that their excessive breast size decreases a sense of attractiveness and self confidence, or results in unwanted attention are also candidates.

Intended Result
Also known as reduction mammoplasty, Breast Reduction is an operation intended to reduce the size of a woman’s breasts and improve their shape and position. Frequently, the areola (dark skin around the nipple) is also made smaller.  Functional symptoms (medical problems) caused by excessive breast weight may be relieved or improved by this operation.  Mammoplasty patients will experience a more attractive contour and smaller breast size, freedom from health problems associated with excessively large breasts and improved self image. There is an extremely high rate of patient satisfaction from this surgery. They are some of the happiest group of patients I have in my practice.

Procedure Description
Breast Reduction is performed as an outpatient procedure and the vast majority of our patients tell us that there was far less discomfort in the early recovery period than was anticipated. In most cases I use a minimal incision surgery using a “vertical” or “lollipop” scar technique this method has been used in Brazil and France for many years but is performed by a minority of Plastic Surgeons in this country.  The benefits include: approximately fifty percent less scarring, a narrower breast, better forward projection and shape, longer lasting improvement, shorter surgery time and less complications. In general, we have stopped using the older traditional “anchor” or inverted “T” incisions as these provide inferior results.  The procedure is done under general anesthesia on an out-patient basis or in the hospital it there are additional medical conditions.

Liposuction may be used during the procedure to reduce the size of the breast in selected patients. Liposuction alone has the least number and size of scars but has the greatest limitations in shaping and reducing the breast. Liposuction may be combined with the vertical method to give an optimal shape to your breasts. Adjustments of the Nipple and/or Areola can also be done at the same time.

In rare circumstances for extraordinarily large or bulky breasts, gigantomastia, for technical reasons, we sometimes remove the nipples completely and reattach them as “free grafts”. The sensory nerves are all cut, and even though a certain amount of sensation returns after healing, it will never be normal and erotic sensation if present prior to surgery (many of these patients preoperatively do not have this due to stretch of their nerves)  is lost completely. The milk ducts are interrupted in this operation, so nursing would be impossible. You will be amply informed in advance if your breasts are in this category. This may be one of the exceptions where the inverted T or Anchor technique is utilized.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Breast reduction

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If you have symptomatic macromastia and are of adult size and your breasts are no longer growing, then you are probably a good candidate. Of course, an exam is essential to be properly evaluated.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

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You sound like a good candidate for breast reduction

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 Hi!

Thank you for your question.

You sound like a great candidate for breast reduction surgery and I

would definitely recommend the procedure. Most patients who I

have performed a breast reduction on have been extremely happy with

their results. You should not usually have any problems with breastfeeding in

the future and I would definitely recommend looking into having your
insurance cover the costs of the reduction. Make sure to consult with
a board certified plastic surgeon.

 Good luck,
 

Dr. Sam Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Breast reduction questions

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You are a candidate for breast reduction. From your description, the surgery will help you a lot. Sp what is breast reduction; breast reduction removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with your body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts. Breast reduction surgery reduces the amount of skin, fat, and tissue in the breast, producing a more proportionate breast, and increasing feelings of self-confidence.

Breast reduction surgery is performed using an anchor-shaped incision made around the areola, along the natural crease under the breast, and vertically in between. After the incision is made, the surgeon, removes excess fat, tissue, and skin from the lower breast area. Next, the nipple and areola are moved to a higher and more natural position. The remaining skin is tightened and sutured in its new place, resulting in a more proportionately sized and pleasingly shaped breast. The entire process takes a few hours and can be combined with breast lift surgery for better results.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Breast Reduction Candidate?

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Thank you for the question.

Based on your description you may be an excellent candidate for breast reduction surgery. It is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.

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).

The majority of patients who undergo breast reduction surgery are able to breast-feed.

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.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 759 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.