Ask a doctor

Is my Age an Advantage for Breast Reduction Surgery?

I'm 18 years old, and I am getting a breast reduction in the beginning of next month. I am aware of risks and complications, but can my age by itself lower these chances for me? For example, slow healing and nipple loss both worry me. I have heard that smoking is the main reason for nipple loss. I smoked maybe one cigarette a day during the school year, for about 3 weeks or so.. I haven't smoked a cigarette since the summertime, and it's February. I am also concerned about incisions not healing.

Doctor Answers (16)

Breast Reduction at age 18

+2

At 18 years of age with an unremarkable medical history you will have no health issues that will increase your risk for breast reduction surgery. If you smoked only briefly and quit months ago this should no longer be a factor.

The risks that you mention (slow healing and nipple loss) are not age related, but rather due to problems with blood flow after the procedure. Stay healthy, don't smoke and your risk will be as low as it can get. Good luck!


Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Breast Reduction and age-related risks

+2

Hello and thank you for the question.

Your age doesn't necessarily put you at less risk than any other age group, so my answer to you would be "no". Factors that are more relevant in terms of discussing surgically-related "risks" include a relevant past medical history, such as diabetes or malnutrition, or a notable social history such as a chronic smoker. 

Best,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Glenn Vallecillos, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Breast Reduction Risks?

+1

Thank you for the question.

Congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery; it is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.

Neither your age nor the minimal use of nicotine should increase the risk associated with the procedure in your case.

Select your plastic surgeon carefully.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 702 reviews

You might also like...

Breast reduction age

+1
Age is in your favor as you are less likely to have hypertension, cardiac or vascular issues. I am glad that you stopped smoking. Even a brief history of smoking may negatively impact an outcome, although to a lesser extent than a longterm smoker as nicotine does have lasting effects. It is true that younger patients form more exuberant scars and this would have to be observed and treated, if necessary. However, your smoking days were quite limited and you should not hesitate to undergo the procedure if your breasts are causing back or neck pain.

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

Age factor in breast reduction surgery

+1

It is important for patients to be aware of all risks prior to surgery. However, the percentage of patients who actually have complications is low. Age by itself doesn't lower the risk factor, but most importantly is the health of the patient; as long as you are eating right, exercising,  getting enough rest, continue to avoid smoking and follow your surgeons wound care directions, you should do just fine.

Miguel Delgado, Jr., MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Relative risks for an 18 year old undergoing a breast reduction

+1

Your age in some ways is a positive factor in that you should be in better health than someone much older. Your skin may have much better elasticity and even thickness compared to someone older which can translate into a better result that maintains its configuration longer.

Your risk for loss of the nipple at your age would be extremely low. The limited smoking that you did more than 6 months ago should have no impact whatsoever now.

At your age, there may be an increased risk for thicker scars. You will want to use a scar cream/gel or even silicone sheeting postoperatively to help obtain the best scar possible.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Is my Age an Advantage for Breast Reduction Surgery?

+1

Regarding: "Is my Age an Advantage for Breast Reduction Surgery?
I'm 18 years old, and I am getting a breast reduction in the beginning of next month. I am aware of risks and complications, but can my age by itself lower these chances for me? For example, slow healing and nipple loss both worry me. I have heard that smoking is the main reason for nipple loss. I smoked maybe one cigarette a day during the school year, for about 3 weeks or so.. I haven't smoked a cigarette since the summertime, and it's February. I am also concerned about incisions not healing
."

Youth - Good
Smoking - Bad

Although complications CAN happen they are not common. The combination of a young, healthy, nonsmoking patient who follows doctor's orders and an experienced Plastic surgeon is a winning combination. Stop worrying!

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Youthful healing and breast reduction

+1

Yes, to some degree youthful age is advantageous when it comes to healthy healing. However, at times, it can result in marked production of tissue with a prominent healthy scar.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Breast reduction and age

+1

Age by itself is not a signifcant factor for risk of complications from a breast reduction. General health is what is important. There are several medical risk factors, including diabetes and obesity. You are already aware of the risk of smoking (including second hand smoke) . Ideally you should be smoke free for 1 month before surgery.

Jack Peterson, MD
Topeka Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

18 and breast reduction

+1

The only thing about age that would make a difference is that presumably younger patients are healthier. If you are a candidate for a breast reduction and you do not smoke your risks are pretty low.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 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.