17 Year Old Getting a Breast Reduction?

I'm 17 I've always had larger breasts, and I've been considering a breast reduction since I was 14. I'm a 36 H, 5'7 and 150 lbs. I've got a flat stomach which makes my breasts much more visible, there's NO WAY to hide them. Not only are they not visually pleasing to me, but they cause me a lot of pain, and I was even forced to quit running. I recently had a brain/spinal surgery, and I'm worried that my breasts might make the problem reoccur. Is it a bad idea to get a reduction so young?

Doctor Answers 9

Breast reductions

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Reductions can be done at 15 with parental consent, and the proper medical clearances. Insurance coverage is a hit or miss depending on the carrier.  Breast reductions are the most gratifying operations because years of neck, back and shoulder pain are gone within days.  The final size result depends on your starting size. If you start larger then you will likely end larger. It is not possible to choose a size with any real accuracy. The main reason is that the procedure removes breast tissue but leaves enough tissue to preserve the blood supply to the nipple and areola. Thus more tissue needs to be left behind to ensure nipple viability. The nipple and areola is constantly being accessed during the operation.

Breast reduction age question

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HI charlotte,

thank you for the post and the comments. You are not alone. We hear this story often. Many young women benefit from a breast reduction regardless of age. If the breasts are too large and painful for your frame, you need this procedure. It just depends on when. 
As the other PS have stated, you will need your parents permission and it's important to recognize that if you have children in your future, you may engorge and get large again. This may require you have an additional procedure sometime down the road. That is not a reason to delay doing this, as you are having pain and exercise issues now. 

Many young females who need this procedure will opt to have it in the summer when they have the time off of school to recover. Sometimes, this is covered by your family health insurance so you will want to discuss this with your parents to see if coverage applies. 

Seek a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon in your area who can help you with your procedure. 

If you have any other questions, please feel free to post. 

Bennett Yang, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Breast Reduction at 17?

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I'm sorry to hear about the physical and psychosocial problems your disproportionately large breasts are causing you. 
It is probable that 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 your frame causing  both physical and psychological distress.
Based on your description you may be an excellent candidate for breast reduction surgery. It is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.
I would suggest that you learn as much as possible  about  breast reduction surgery and the potential risks and complications associated with  the procedure.  Hopefully you have the support of your parents as you do your homework.
Unsatisfactory scarring is  one of the potential complications. Make sure 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).
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.
 When the time is right,  seek consultation with well-trained/experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.

I hope this helps.

Teenage breast reduction

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I'm sorry you have these problems at such a young age.  If you are otherwise healthy you could undergo a breast reduction but will need you parents to sign for you. 

You must be motivated enough to tolerate the post operative pain and mature enough to follow the post op instructions and limitations.  You might lose the feeling in you nipple or be unable to nurse afterwards. You need to be able to have the emotional stability to get through a complication.

 For most young women in my practice, that seems to be a good trade most of the time.  For some of them the procedure is life changing.

Deborah Ekstrom, MD
Worcester Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Too young for a breast reduction???

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I am sorry to hear about the difficulties that your breasts are causing you.  You sound like a great candidate for a reduction because of your symptoms.  You are not too young for this procedure.  There are a few caveats.  First, you are a young lady and your breasts will change throughout life.  If pregnancy is in your future, they will engorge and get big again.  Nursing may be an issue because some patients are unable to breast feed following breast reduction.  If your weight remains stable, the odds of you needing another breast reduction is minimal. 


For some reason, lots of other physicians may try to talk you out of this.  I can see from your post that you are in pain, you have had to reduce your participation in activities that you enjoy, and you have some psychological apprehensions about being large breasted. 


All of this adds up to a breast reduction in my book.  In my practice, my youngest patients are often the children of mothers who have had a breast reduction.  The moms were told wait til you finish having children etc., so they suffered for years.  Now that they have daughters, they realize the benefits of a breast reduction and decided that they do not want them to have the same set of problems.


Your next step is to schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.  Please read up on this procedure and go in to the consultation with your questions written out so you don't forget to ask.  In my opinion, the only bad question is the one that is not asked.


Good luck.

Breast reduction at 17

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It is not uncommon for a breast reduction to be performed on a 17 year old but you will need your parents' permission. First you need to go for a consultation.

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

Breast reduction at 17?

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The primary determinate at your age is if the breasts are still growing. If the size has been stable, you appear to be an excellent candidate for a breast reduction. Good luck, it will be one of the best decisions you can make as it will change your life.

Brian J. Lee, MD
Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

17 Year Old Getting a Breast Reduction?

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With breasts of you size ,breast reduction is a good option to alleviate your symptoms

Patients are usually very satisfied with their results

Hilton Becker, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Do it now

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Patients are very happy after breast reductions. As long as your breasts are not growing, now is a fine time to have the surgery. You just need your parents consent.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 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.