Is 16 too Young to Have a Breast Reduction Surgery?

I am 5'8 136 pounds and I have size 32 g breast. I have very poor posture and bad back pain , as wells as headaches that one of my doctors said could be due to pressure on my spine. I used to love goinrunning now it is very uncomfortable and do not go as much as I used too. My mom and I have even talking about it for around a year. I turn 16 in April and I was wondering if it any surgeons would take a 16 year old patient. thanks

Doctor Answers 7

Breast reduction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I have performd breast reductions on teenagers.  Ideally, you want a patient to be of full maturity and adult size.  The breasts should not be growing any more and menses should be regular.  Of course you will need your parents consent.  Good luck.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

It depends on the symptoms not your age

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

If you have had to go to a back or spine doctor or get chiropractic treatments then your symptoms will go away with a breast reduction.  If you are already getting deep groves in your shoulders from your bra straps this will only get worse as you get older.

If you are prepared to have permanent scars on your chest as a trade off for getting rid of these symptoms then it doesn't matter how old you are.

There is one catch here.  Some girl's breasts continue to develop after age sixteen.  There is always the chance you might be one of them.  To avoid having to have this done a second time you might consider waiting two more years to be sure you aren't still growing larger breasts!

Breast Reduction at Age 16

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

In my opinion, it really depends on how bad your symptoms are. If you are really having problems, waiting until you are 18, 21 or 30 years old is unlikely to make things better. Based on my patients under 18 years old who had breast reduction, they are very happy with their decision and now have a much better quality of life.

If you have tried everything you can to make this better and have no relief, you and your parents should be able to find a Board Certified plastic surgeon who feels comfortable doing this for you.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Breast reduction at 16 years old

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Though it may be a general consensus (by whom?) that it would be better to wait until the age of 18 before undergoing a breast reduction, it is a fairly common occurrence to perform this procedure on the right individual. You appear to be the classic example: very large breasts that are intolerably symptomatic and which markedly limit activities and are associated with psycho-social issues. 

It is important that you see a board certified plastic surgeon with your parent(s) and learn and understand all the relevant issues. You must also realize that if your breasts are still growing, you may need to have this procedure performed again in the not too distant future.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Juvenile macromastia

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I am assuming that you are with your mother/father while you are seeking advice from RealSelf. If not, please have her go through the answers with you, its a lot to absorb for a 16 year old patient.  The symptoms that you are describing are typical for juvenile macromastia.   Breasts often continue to grow/develop past the age of 18, so most patients don't undergo reductions until their breast size has stabilized. .  However, juvenile macromastia can be quite symptomatic.  If your symptoms are concerning enough, meet with a board certified plastic surgeon. Breast reductions can be safely performed in women at the age of 16, but the chances of regrowth/recurrence of size and symptoms are slightly higher than when performed on older patients will more stabilized breast tissue. There are other generalized post breast reductions risks that you will want to discuss with your mother and surgeon. Example: potential for decreased ability to breast feed.  Good luck, breast reduction surgery can be a very satisfying and life changing surgery.  Dr. Renucci

John Renucci, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Breast Reduction At 16 Years Of Age

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I have performed several breast reductions during the mid-teens.  It sounds as if you would be a good candidate with your cup size, symptoms, and overall size.  It is important that your breast size is stable so there will not be additional increase in the size of your breasts post-op.  Your level of maturity is also very important.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Breast Reduction for 16-year-old

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for the question.

16 is NOT  too young to consider breast reduction surgery.

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.

As  you think  about  breast reduction surgery make sure you do your homework and understand the potential risks and complications associated with  the procedure.  Make sure you also understands 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).

Sometimes breast  reduction surgery is covered through health insurance. The best way to obtain insurance coverage for breast reduction surgery involves some “hoops” to jump through. The more documentation you have (for example, from your primary care doctor, physical therapist, chiropractor etc.) the better when it comes to obtaining insurance “authorization” for the procedure.
This documentation and letter/pictures from your plastic surgeon will help you obtain authorization.

Make sure you're  working with a well-trained/experienced board-certified plastic surgeon.

I hope this helps.

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.