Ask a doctor

Is 17 Too Young for Breast Reduction Surgery?

17-year-old Romanian tennis star Simona Halep, who won the junior French Open last year, has announced that she will have a breast reduction later this year. Is 17 too young for such a drastic surgery? What are the risks of having a reduction so early in life?

Doctor Answers (30)

Is 17 too young for breast reduction surgery?

+1

Thank you for your question!  I hope that these answers help in making your decision.  Juvenile hypertrophy of the breasts is typically treated by breast reduction.  It is not uncommon to have symptoms such as neck/back/shoulder pain as well as infections/rashes and shoulder grooving, especially in teenagers once her breasts begin to fully develop.  

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


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Teenager questions about a breast reduction

+1
If you have extremely large breasts you may be a candidate for a breast reduction even at an early age. I usually like to have a patients breast growth to be stable for one year prior to considering a breast lift. If there is significant hormonal stimulation the breasts can get bigger after a breast reduction. Best to consult a plastic surgeon with your parents along for the consultation.  The only risk is recurrence as well as wound healing problems.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast reduction in teens - Los Angeles

+1

Breast reduction should be performed when the breast growth has subsided and patients are symptomatic from the heavy breasts.Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

You might also like...

Breast Reduction Surgery Should Not Be Done Until There Is Stabilization of Breast Growth

+1

When patients have significant breast enlargement with associated symptoms, I don’t feel that they should be denied the benefits of this procedure because of an arbitrary age cutoff. Before proceeding, there are several unique considerations in this group that must be considered.
One of these is the issue of breast growth. I would prefer stabilization of breast growth for at least six months prior to proceeding with surgery. Another issue is the age of consent. Because of this, parents should be involved in every step of the decision- making process.
Breast reduction has some of the highest satisfaction rates seem in plastic surgery. Younger patients may experience benefits that may not occur in older patients. These include less teasing about their breast size at a time when their self-image is developing, and improved athletic performance at a time when participating in sports is important. Early breast reduction also corrects many health problems before they become chronic.
Finally, early intervention allows patients to benefit from the procedure over a lifetime. Older patients who undergo breast reduction often comment that they wished they had done it earlier. Many of them feel that by waiting to undergo this procedure, they may have permanently damaged their health and suffered needlessly.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Is 17 Too Young for Breast Reduction Surgery

+1

As I have previously stated about teen breast reductions:

First, you should seek the advice of a board certified Plastic Surgeon.  I think a woman of teenage years who has symptoms of macromastia ;that is, enlarged breasts with shoulder, neck, and back pain along with inframammary intertriginous dermatitis should have a breast reduction.

 

Thomas Guillot, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Breast Reduction as a teen

+1

Breast reduction is not a procedure to enter into lightly.  You should have reached your physical maturity, and have the emotional stability and support network before even considering cosmetic surgery as a teen. At 17, it is possible that she meets the criteria but it is a decision to be made on a case by case basis.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Juvenile Breast Reduction

+1

Thank you for the question.

Juvenile breast hypertrophy Is associated with physical and psychosocial  symptoms of  living with very large breasts. In other words, the breasts are too large for the frame causing  both physical and psychological distress.

As long as the patient has done her homework and understands the potential risks and complications associated with breast reduction surgery and understands that further surgery may be necessary in the future (for example if the breasts were to grow in size again) then  she may be an excellent candidate for the procedure.

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).

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 715 reviews

Breast Reduction at age 15

+1

Breast reduction is a fairly big operation and it is usually done for women who have very large and heavy breasts which cause symptoms such as neck and back pain, shoulder notching, postural problems, hygiene issues and interference with performing sports and other normal activities. If you and your parents feel it is in your best interest to have the procedure and a board certified plastic surgeon agrees,then you can certainly do it. Bear in mind that you probably will grow more with age and certainly with pregnancy, so touch ups may be needed later on. Good luck!

William H. Gorman, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

17 is NOT too young.

+1

I have done thousands of breast reductions and I have done woment from 14 to 88 years old.   Many woment have breast reductions before going off to college.  They are usually 17 or 18 yrs old and they want to arrive at their new school with their new  sporty figure.   We have many teen age women who are happy to speak with prospective patients who are considering this surgery.

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Appropriate age for breast reduction surgery

+1

There are a number of factors to consider when contemplating breast reduction surgery in a younger patient.  In my practice it is not uncommon to have a patient undergo breast reduction in their teens.  One of the important factors to consider is how many years has the patient had macromastia, and for how long has the breast size been stable.  Some other factors are social ostracism, degree of symptoms from heavy breasts etc.  This type of a decision is not taken lightly, but in a right patient breast reduction surgery in a younger patient is an appropriate decision.

Boris M. Ackerman, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 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.