16 Years Old, 5'2 + 120 Lbs, and Have 34D Cup Breasts. Could I Get Surgery?

My mom is a nurse and she's worried about me getting surgery. She says most doctors won't see me, but I have major back pain along with decrease in physical activity because I can't run with these big breasts. I also am very self-conscious and have taken to wearing a sports bra two sizes too small for me to reduce their appearance. Do you think I could get approved for surgery? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 9

Juvenile Breast Reduction

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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.

Breast reduction approval

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Each insurance company is a bit different and therefore they may have different approval criteria.  It is also important to see a plastic surgeon to be evaluated.  Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast reduction at 16

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Surgery is an option but you must obtain your parents consent at the age of 16. So you should discuss your options with your pediatrician and your parents.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Complete Growing Before Surgery

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Based upon the information provided in your question, you seem to be the ideal candidiate for breast reduction: trim, healthy and with symptoms of neck pain/back pain/shoulder pain that have not been relieved with non-surgical treatment. I recommend the following:

1. See your Pediatrician with your Mom and ask she/he to order x-rays to determine if your bony growth plates have closed. If they are closed, your have stopped growing in height. In addition, if your breasts have not changed in size in the last year, they have also likely stopped growing (except if you gain weight).

2. Ask your Mom to schedule a consultation with at least 2 Plastic Surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (you can check on line to confirm their certification) that have been recommended by other Nurses, Physicians and family members and friends. They will be able to provide you detailed information that will help you and your Mom make an informed decision.

Even with all of this information and if you choose to proceed with surgery, it is possible that you may need a revision operation if your breasts have not stopped growing. Read as much as you can about Breast Reduction Surgery and ask your Plastic Surgeon to refer your to other young women who have had Breast Reduction Surgery so you can decide if this is the right operation for you.

Good Luck!

Breast reduction surgery can help back pain and reduced activity.

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It sounds like you are an ideal candidate for breast reduction surgery.  One reason to wait is if your breasts are still growing.  If not, you and your mom should see a board-certified plastic surgeon to learn more about breast reduction and how it can help you and what the risks are.  Once you and your mom are better informed, you can make a decision for yourself.  Good luck!

Dr. Parham Ganchi

Parham Ganchi, PhD, MD
Wayne Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 172 reviews

Breast reduction good if your breasts have not grown for one year.

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You don't want to do this twice.  So make sure your breasts have stopped growing. If they have, I think you would really benefit by having a breast reduction.

It's normal for your mom to be worried about you having surgery. But parents usually come around when they understand how safe it is and how much better you will feel.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

16 Years Old, 5'2 + 120 Lbs, and Have 34D Cup Breasts. Could I Get Surgery

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My recommendation is you and mom visit a plastic surgeon she knows in a consultation. There you can ask and understand breast reduction right there with mom. 

Benefits of surgery are not limited to 18+!

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Breast Reduction relieves back pain, neck pain, shoulder grooving regardless of your age.  You do not need to wait until you're older to have this surgery, and continue suffering until then.
You need to find a qualifed, board certified Plastic Surgeon.  While some may feel that you're too young because you're still growing and your breasts are still changing, you will certainly be able to find one that will be willing to help.  And yes, you may still be growing and changing, and yes you may end up having another breast reduction sometimes in the future (if your breasts continue to grow after the surgery) but in the mean time a breast reduction can help relieve your pain.

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews

Of course you should have the opportunity to have a consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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From what you describe you are an ideal candidate for a reduction mamoplasty. Since your Mom is a nurse ask her to check out who she feels is the best and kindest Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and then the two of you go for a consultation. If your having so much trouble with neck, back , shoulder and breast pain and it is limiting your physical activity you certainly should be considered for a reduction mamoplasty even at age 16. It does seem like you are over weight and there for there is no likely hood that it will improve with time. So eventually you will have a reduction and there is no reason you should have to suffer for a few more years. Even after a well done reduction mamoplasty you should be able to nurse a child if you have one. 

Carl W. "Rick" Lentz III, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 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.