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Can You Do A Breast Reduction for a Teenager?

Im fourteen years old and am curious if im a candidate for a breast reduction. im 5'5 and approximately 135 lbs. My breasts cause me alot of physical and emotional stress. I have been in counseling because i get sexually harassed because of my chest. Im 36DDD but done growing (as my doctor says) ive looked into the procedure and know generally what it is and the after effects. I need to know if its a good idea to do it now or wait another year or so. And would Insurance cover the costs?

Doctor Answers (8)

Breast reductions for young patients


This is an excellent question, young lady, and I respect you for asking it.

While i never perform elective aesthetic breast surgery, like breast augmentation, on ladies under 18 years of age, I will most certainly perform a breast reduction on a teenager if it is indicated.

These cases are always individualized, and it depends entirely upon the young lady's maturity, level of understanding of the operation and its implications, her parents' support, and the expected benefits of the surgery.  While 14 years old is certainly on the younger end of the spectrum, it also appears that you are physically mature in size, you have very large breasts which affect you both physically and emotionally, and you seem to understand that this is a potential solution for your problem.

Breast reduction is one of my favorite operations because it helps the ladies that get it in so many different ways.  It is a safe and reliable operation in the right hands, and I have done many, many breast reductions - a number of them on teeenagers - and almost all of the patients are happy.  I even have a large number of patients who successfully breast feed babies after the surgery. 

I encourage you to have a frank and open discussion with your parents, and if you all see that the operation may be a good idea for you, then find a surgeon who is objective about the issue and can examine you and discuss the operation with you openly to see if it is a good idea from his or her perspective too.  Usually if the surgeon believes it's a good idea, insurance will cover the operation, and the surgeon's office can help you with those arrangements.

And most of all - keep asking questions your whole life through and don't give up chasing your dreams and desires!  Good luck!

Dr. G

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Too young for a breast reduction


Dear Anna,

If you and your breasts have stopped growing and you are willing to accept permanent scars on your breasts (around the areola and a linear scar from the bottom of the areola down to the crease under the breast) and the fact you won't be able to breast feed, and if you were my daughter, I would say go for it.  Find a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who  also has a kind and gentle beside manner.  Breast reduction can be a very emotional experience for young women.  Whether or not your insurance will cover the surgery depends on your insurance.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.   

Web reference:

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Some Teenagers Good Candidates For Breast Reduction


I have performed breast reductions on 14 year-olds.  The most important criteria are stability of breast volumes and maturity (not just physical but also mental and emotional).  It sounds as if you meet the first criterion.  If you feel that you are also mature "beyond your age", discuss this with your parents and your pediatrician.  If they agree, a consultation can be scheduled with a board-certified plastic surgeon with whom you and your parents can discuss the procedure and the benefits/risks of the surgery.

Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Breast reduction in a 14 yo


I recently did a breast reduction on a 14 year old who was in my office with her mother complaining of the same issues. Young ladies like yourself are bothered by the size of their breast, inability to exercise, inability to wear tight fitting clothing and poor posture. Of course the social issue of having large breasts can be burdensome. All individuals under the age 18 will need the involvement and consent of their parents. They must be supportive and must be with you at all times of your visits, and initial phase of recovery. I tell young ladies about three very important issues. One is the permanent scars that they will have. This needs to be recognized. I also tell them that due to their youth and hormonal change they might grow more and might need further operations. The final important issue is that you will most likely not be able to breast feed. These negative aspects must be weighed prior to you embarking on a breast reduction. Although we do not accept any insurance our staff is able to help prospective patients use their insurance privileges. Best wishes.

Web reference:

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Breast Reduction in Teens


The youngest patient I have chosen to perform breast reduction on has been 16.  She was mature and understood the permanent implications of the procedure such as scars, inability to breast feed, and the loss of nipple sensation.  Sometimes this last problem is not understood by 14 y/o girls without much life experience.  If you can get by another year or so until you are absolutely sure this is something you are ready for, then I would try to do so.  As for the insurance, you just have to see the surgeon and submit the paperwork to the company.

Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Breast reduction


Yes, you may; however, you must also consider that there are a lot of scars with this operation and this can also be a source of distress.  I recommend a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon along with yor parents.  There is condition called "virginal hypertrophy" which causes the breasts to grow very large in girls your age.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
3.5 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Breast Reduction for a Teenager


If you are done growing, you may be a candidate for a reduction mammoplasty.  This procedure has a high level of patient satisfaction, good relief of symptoms and usually an overall improvement in quality of life.  At your age, you should discuss this carefully with your parents and seek the advise of a board certified plastic surgeon.  It is important that you understand the procedure, the scarring, recovery and have realistic expectations of what is involved. 

Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast Reduction Surgery


Ideally, you would wait to make sure that you are done growing (which it sounds like you are) and you need to have parental consent to have any type of surgery. Also, you need to be emotionally ready to have surgery (this is something an experienced surgeon can evaluate when he/she meets with you).  Yes, if your situation is bad enough, insurance MAY cover it (the office would have to get prior authorization).  I would recommend that you and a parent go and visit some surgeons and discuss options of surgery.  

Web reference:

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 626 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.

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