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Is a Breast Reduction Safe at Age 15?

I am currently a 34DD, almost DDD, but I am only 15 years old. I'm 5'5'' and 135 lbs, with a bust and hip measurement of 37cm, and a waist measurement of 30 cm. I feel like my breasts get in the way of doing any physical activites, like running. Would it be safe to get a reduction done, and for how long would I be out of physical activities?

Doctor Answers (12)

Breast reduction at age 15?

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In some cases I will perform breast reductions on teenagers whose breasts are extremely large and problematic for them. I require that the child's parents and pediatrician agree with the decisions, in addition to the patient herself.


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Safety and breast reduction

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Reduction are safe but like any surgery, a proper medical and physical exam must be done. Reductions can be done at 15 with parental consent, and the proper medical clearances. Insurance coverage is a hit or miss depending on the carrier.  Usually having symptoms related to breast size is necessary for insurance coverage. Getting it covered though is very difficult. Insurance companies wont tell anyone how much tissue needs to be removed to qualify for coverage. Then if the surgeon is 1gram off they deny coverage after the fact. Insurance companies make money by denying coverage. For that reason most plastic surgeon will likely ask for payment up front.  Breast reductions are the most gratifying operations because years of neck, back and shoulder pain are gone within days.  The final size result depends on your starting size. If you start larger then you will likely end larger. It is not possible to choose a size with any real accuracy. The main reason is that the procedure removes breast tissue but leaves enough tissue to preserve the blood supply to the nipple and areola. Thus more tissue needs to be left behind to ensure nipple viability. The nipple and areola is constantly being accessed during the operation.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Breast Reduction for Teenager?

+1

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).
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're  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 781 reviews

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Breast reduction for a teenager

+1

If you are otherwise healthy, a breast reduction can be considered at your age. Most Board Certified plastic surgeons have treated at least one teenager with this problem. The improvement in symptoms is predictable and seen soon after surgery. Most patients return to activity in 2 to 4 weeks. It may be reasonable to discuss this with your parents and your primary care doctor also.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Breast reduction at 15

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If you have symptomatic macromastia and you are of adult size and are menstruating regularly, you may be a candidate to have it done now. If you are still growing, you should wait.

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

Breast reduction at age of 15.

+1

It is generally safe.  Your parents will have to sign your consents to have surgery. 

It is important that your weight and growth have stabilized prior to undergoing the procedure otherwise you may be subject to ongoing breast enlargement.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Best to have breast reduction when breasts have stopped growing.

+1

Hi.

It's safe to have breast reduction now, but not a good idea, because your breasts will almost  certainly continue to grow.  Then you may need another reduction in a few years.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast reduction as a teen is safe

+1

It is safe to have a breast reduction in your teenage years, and this is a very frequent question on this site. You should consider though that at age 15 your breast is still growing and your body is maturing. We feel a key consideration is emotional maturity in that you will be making an important decision with breast reduction that carries consequences throughout your life. Breast reduction will leave a scar on the front of the breast which is acceptable, though visible. There are also potential risks to later breastfeeding. It is fine to begin with a consultation, but take your time deciding when the time will be right for you.

Best of luck,

peterejohnsonmd

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

A Breast reduction sounds like just the right thing for you

+1

All the problems you complain of are easily corrected by a well done reduction of your breast. While you are a bit young you have these real problems. Check with a board certified Plastic Surgeon. It is possible you may continue to grow but that could be corrected by a second procedure. It sounds like the size of your breast are limiting your life and that shouldn't be when you are 15. Merry Christmas

Carl W. 'Rick' Lentz III, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

15 year old breast reduction patient

+1

Yes it is safe. It is also very appropriate under the correct circumstances. The most important consideration is that your breast size has stabilized. You don't want to do a breast reduction only to find out that a year later the breasts have increased in size again.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 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.