How Young Is Too Young for Breast Reduction?

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Breast reduction can provide a more proportionate breast size for women suffering from physical discomfort or social embarrassment due to large and heavy breasts. While most breast reduction patients are more mature women, many teens undergo breast reduction surgery each year to resolve the condition known as macromastia, or overly large breasts. But how young is too young for breast reduction?

Waiting until Breasts Have Fully Developed
Many surgeons recommend that young women refrain from undergoing operations on their breasts until they have fully developed. This usually means anywhere between late teens and early twenties. This is simply a precaution to help ensure that the benefits of breast reduction are not reversed by a later growth spurt.

For Some Teens, Earlier Breast Reduction Can Help
However, for some teens, the physical and social problems of macromastia are best resolved by an earlier breast reduction. While macromastia can make exercise uncomfortable, contributing to risk of obesity, and clothes shopping difficult, the condition can also cause young women to feel embarrassed about their bodies. This social discomfort can create a higher than normal likelihood of social withdrawal, low self-esteem and eating disorders. For such cases, teens may undergo breast reduction as young as their early- to mid-teens.

Approaching the Issue with Care
Teens who express an ongoing interest in breast reduction should feel supported by their parents and doctor. However, it’s important to approach the issue sensitively so as not to pressure teens into surgery, create unrealistic expectations or increase feelings of self-consciousness. Parents should wait for the teenager to initiate the request for surgery rather than suggesting it themselves. Furthermore, teens with significant temperamental problems or a history of substance abuse are not recommended to undergo plastic surgery until they have stabilized and matured.
Article by
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon