My daughter is 14yrs, she wears a DDD, she is 5'5", 150 lbs, she started her cycle when she was 10 yrs old. She has been asking for a breast reduction since she was about 12 and found out that it was possible. I told her we would discuss it when she was 16, but now she is really pressing to have procedure done. Her pediatrician said that she has pretty much finished growing,but I am reading that the breast can still grow into her 20s. What would you recommend?
Breast Reduction for a 14 Year Old Girl
Doctor Answers (15)
Breast reduction at what age
If your daughter has very large breasts it is not unreasonable for her to undergo a breast reduction. Unfortunately, as you mention, the breasts may continue to grow after a reduction and it is unpredictable in whom. But, there would be less breast tissue that could grow.
Breast Reduction for Teenager?
Thank you for the question. I'm glad to hear that your daughter has your support; this this will be very helpful to her.
It sounds like she is 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 she thinks about breast reduction surgery make sure she does her homework and understands the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure. Make sure she 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 a procedure 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're working with a well-trained/experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.
I hope this helps.
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Breast reduction for a teenager?
Breast Reduction and Teenagers
There is no right or wrong answer. In very difficult cases that involve teenagers or younger children there has to be considerable thought given to the risk versus benefit of the particular procedure. If your daughter is having an extremely difficult time psychologically as well as physically then there should be strong consideration given to proceeding with the operation if you get a consensus from 2-3 board certified plastic surgeons.
Best of Luck.
Timing of Breast Reduction for a Teen
There would not be an answer that would be correct for every family on your situation...
It sounds like you understand the variables to balance... Surgery sooner MAY help her psychologically and indeed physically, socially, and emotionally- BUT if her breasts do grow more she may need a second operation later on. And this operation would be more risky than the first.
It is also important to consider the fact that the average 14 year old probably does not understand the implications of surgically altering her body and the risks involved... creating the potential that because of imperfections after the surgery she is just as self-conscious as she was before- or more so.
On the other hand, no one could argue the stress of having very large breasts at such a young age.
As I say, I don't think there is an absolutely correct answer- but if she were my daughter, I would wait as long as I possibly could get her to wait before letting her proceed.
Breast Reduction in Young Teen
You are right, breast growth can continue into the 20s. The psychologic improvement that reduction engenders, however, usually makes up for any risk of having to re-do the procedure. Additionally, we used to do this frequently at one of the country’s largest children’s hospitals and rarely reoperated on anyone.
Improved self-esteem with breast reduction at an early age
There is a condition termed gigantomastia. This is basically large disproportionate breasts. The condition usually occurs in a teenager. It is true that after a breast reduction the breasts could continue to grow. The improvement in your daughters level of self-esteem would be the driving force to proceed with surgery.
In unusual cases, breast reduction should be done in young girls.
From your description, it sounds like your daughter would get tremendous psychological benefit with a breast reduction. This may prevent distortion of her body image.
Of course, her breasts may well continue to grow, and then she will need another procedure when she is 20. But in this case, that's probably a good trade off.
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.