Breast Reduction As a Teen

I am 16 years old, about 112 lbs, 5'3" and extremely active. There is just one problem, I have size 32 DDD breasts, which gives me mild back pain and I at times feel like I am unable to run. My main question is, do you feel as although I would be a breast reduction canidate? Or are there medicines or treatments I could do, for a less painful way to not be as busty? Thanks for answering!

Doctor Answers (10)

Breast reduction as a teen.

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Thank you for your question!  I hope that these answers help in making your decision.  You suffer from juvenile hypertrophy of the breasts, which is typically treated by breast reduction.  It is not uncommon to have the symptoms that you describe such as neck/back/shoulder pain as well as infections/rashes and shoulder grooving, especially in teenagers once her breasts begin to fully develop.  Antiinflammatory medications and therapy may help alleviate some discomfort.  Powders and creams may help with rashes/infections.  Also, wide-strapped bras with adequate support may help with some of your pains.  Overall, these are temporizing measures and the underlying issue of your breast size to your body habitus will likely need to be addressed if your problems continue.

Once one begins to have the symptoms that you state above, consideration for a surgical procedure to ameliorate your symptoms, assist with self esteem, and allow you to get back to physical activities in your youth should be done.  Given your symptoms,  you would be an ideal candidate.  You must first discuss with your parents and pediatrician, and then consulting with a plastic surgeon for evaluation and examination to assist you in deciding if this would be the right thing for you.  Your surgeon will also go over what to expect as well as the risks and benefits of the procedure.  Overall, your symptoms should be ameliorated almost immediately and hopefully give you more self confidence and an increased activity level.  Your breasts may still continue to grow over the next several years, but it is certainly reasonable to consider this at this age with the issues that you are having.  I hope that this helps!  Good luck with your decision!


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Breast Reduction for Teenager

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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.

It sounds like you have done your homework and understand the potential risk and consultations associated with breast reduction surgery. You also understand 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).

I would suggest an in-person consultation with a well-trained/experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. Best wishes.

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

Breast reduction at age 16

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You sound like a good candidate for breast reduction with traditional techniques or liposuction. See the videos below in link for photos. As long as your growth spurt is completed and your breasts have ceased growing, it is reasonable to consider breast reduction with the caveat that it may be difficult to nurse should you decide to do this at a later date. You should discuss this with your pediatrician

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

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Teenage Breast Reduction

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Unfortunately there are no medicines that would reduce the size of your breasts.  Surgery offer the best option for a woman to reduce the size of her breasts, reduce the discomfort she suffers and increase the quality of her life.  At age 16 it may be unreasonable if you have extreme symptoms and excessive large breast to have a reduction.  It is critical for you and your parents to understand the pros and cons to breast reduction.  This can be explained during a consult with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Dr. ES

Earl Stephenson, Jr., MD, DDS
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Breast reduction at 16

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You certainly may be a candidate, but an exam would be necessary. There are no medicines that I know of that will reduce the size of the breasts.

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

Breast Reduction may be done in teenagers

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Breast reduction may be appropriate in a teenager such as yourself, with large breasts that cause back pain and inhibit your ability to move comfortably.  However, there are special considerations for teens.  First, your breasts should be at a stable bra size for at least a year.  If they are still growing, you should wait.  Also, pregnancy and nursing can change the shape and size of breasts again, so it is important that you be aware that you could find yourself needing another reduction after having a baby.  Most teenagers accept that chance, and are very happy with smaller breasts after surgery.

Elizabeth Slass Lee, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Breast reduction for teenage patients

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I think the procedure is helpful for young women with breast tissue that is creating bio-mechanical problems, self-esteem issues, and inhibition of athletic activities. The insurance companies prefer their patients to do 'conservative' therapies such as weight loss, physical therapy- we all know these 'treatments' do not improve symptoms. These delay tactics are merely a way for insurance companies to avoid paying for this procedure. Seek out a board certified plastic surgeon for an evaluation with your parents in attendance.

Scott C. Sattler, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Breast Reduction As a Teen..

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Very unusual to have a TEEN reduction unless there is a diagnosis of "Virginal Hypertrophy". Most PS's will wait til the age of 18 years. See a few boarded Plastic Surgeons in your area, with a parent of course. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Teenagers and breast reduction--you don't need to wait

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A reasonable and emotionally mature teenager is a great candidate for breast reduction.  There is no treatment other than breast reduction surgery that could make your breasts smaller.  See a surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and discuss your goals and options.  You are likely a good candidate for a short-scar breast reduction technique (a "lollipop" scar), so ask about that.  Best wishes!

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Breast reduction for 16 year old

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If you are sixteen and have very large breasts, breast reduction may be an appropriate procedure. It's important to be sure expectations are realistic and you have an understanding of the commitment needed for the healing process. Make sure that you understand the nature of your surgery, the recovery process, and that you feel comfortable and emotionally ready to make these changes to your body.
 

Large breasts can restrict your lifestyle and cause a variety of medical problems. Even drastic weight loss won't result in more than negligible shrinkage. Breast reduction surgery removes excess breast tissue and reshapes the contour of the breasts so that they are smaller and perkier. I commonly use a minimal incision technique (Le Jour), eliminating the need for large scars while providing a pleasing breast contour and shape that is proportionate to the patients body. Your surgeon knows exactly how much tissue he or she is taking out, because it is weighed after removal. And breast reduction comes with an added bonus: the extracted breast tissue is always sent to the lab and examined by a pathologist for signs of cysts or cancer. Having smaller breasts can take years off your appearance!
 

Michelle Copeland, MD, DMD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 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.