How Common is Breast Reduction for Teens Who Are in Their First Year of College?

Is a breast reduction procedure too much responsibility or too difficult for a freshman in college to deal with? Would they need someone to help them shower or dress during recovery?

Doctor Answers (11)

How common is a breast reduction for teens who are in their first year of college?

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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.  You may consider having the procedure performed during one of your breaks or the summer as you can have some assistance and more time to recover without other responsibilities.  

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 in college students

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Most of the college students I have operated on for breast reduction have it done during one of their breaks and arrange for at least a week off of classes.  I ask that patients have a responsible adult with them the first day after surgery and then most patients do pretty well on their own.  The surgery is not as painful as one would think it would be, but for young women, it can be very, very emotional.   It's important to have a good support system of friends and/or family with this surgery. 

If you are really miserable with your breasts, don't delay.  So many of my older patients tell me that they wish they had had a reduction at a much younger age. 

Lisa L. Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Breast reduction for college students

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I would recommend that you have surgery during winter or spring break. Patients do very well with the surgery but college is a serious endeavor and you should not have any major surgery during the academic semester if at all possible. Patients do very well after the first 2-3 days and do not need assistance in showering or dressing. Best of luck in school and in preparing for this surgery, which has a very high patient satisfaction rate. Many of my young patients go on to lose weight as they are able to be much more physically active following surgery. Dr. K

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

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Breast reduction during the first year of college

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Having breast reduction surgery during the first year of college is not a rarity or a very difficult thing to do provided that you plan appropriately. If you are a good candidate for the procedure based on breast size and associated uncomfortable symptoms, then pursuing surgery would be reasonable. It would be prudent to plan this during a vacation, especially an longer one where you will have assistance for a few days and time off from school work. Vacation in December of even the summer would be the best bets though you could also have it performed during spring break.

Anticipate discomfort to generally be fairly mild and you should be up and around the day of or day after surgery. Most women are able to return to work or school within 5 - 7 days as long as they don't engage in very exertional activities.

Good luck!

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
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Breast reduction and age

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It is quite common for college age women who need a breast reduction to have it done. I treat alot of women in their late teens and twenties.

Steven Wallach, MD
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Scarless breast reduction

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look at Scarless breast reduction. liposuctionONLY. This is not for everyone But if you are a candidate There is no visible scar and recuperation is limited to your own discomfort. in other words you can do anything you want as soon as you feel comfortable doing it as there are no incisions to pop open.

Sherwood Baxt, MD
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Recovery From Breast Reduction May Be Easier Than You Think

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Your recovery from a breast reduction means you might miss a week or so of classes but you could e-mail and work on line.  The pain and bruising is generally gone by two weeks and you should be back to full recovery at that time but not working out or in a gym yet.  Every surgeon has a little differnt time frame for that but in general it is one whole month without working out.

I let my patients shower as soon as two or three days after the surgery and they can do it by themselves.  They are able to eat normally with a day or so and they need pain medication for less than a week.

In other words you could do the surgery druing a break from classes such as at Christmas or Spring Break.

Phillip C. Haeck, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
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Breast reduction in teenagers

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Breast reduction in teenagers can be a very beneficial procedure but must be done with meticulous pre-operative evaluation and counseling. The teenage years are when a lot of adult personality and issues of confidence and self-esteem are being developed. Large breasts can impact that development. The psycho-emotional benefits must be weighed against any risks both medically as well as developmentally but age is not necessarily a deterrent to the positive experience of breast reduction.

Robin T.W. Yuan, M.D.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
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Breast reduction and college students

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Breast reduction continues to be one of the most commonly performed reconstructive surgeries by plastic surgeons in the United States.  The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimate that roughly 83,000 women underwent a breast reduction in 2010.  Of those patients, approximately 4600 were ages 13-19.  After a breast reduction, patients typically will have drains in place for a week, take pain medicine for 3-4 days, and are not able to drive for 5-7 days.  I think it is usually best for college students to have the procedure done over a vacation or other school break to allow adequate time to recover.

Kelly Gallego, MD, FACS
Yuba City Plastic Surgeon
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Breast Reductions for College Freshmen Common

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I see many young women who are finishing high school or starting college to discuss breast reduction.  Whether or not the procedure is too much responsibility really depends on the patient herself.  For my patients in college, we generally plan for them to have their surgery during a break from school so that they can recuperate in the comfort of home and have their family around for support.  I usually recommend that patients have someone available to assist them the first time they shower, especially if drains are in place, just to make sure they have a hand if they need it.  I also recommend button down shirts to help avoid stretching overhead the first few days after surgery.  I hope this helps!

Danielle DeLuca-Pytell, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 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.