I Am 17 Years Old. I Am a Size 32J in Bras, 5'5 and 150lbs. Am I Eligible for a Breast Reduction? (photo)

Doctor Answers 10

Breast Reduction Candidate at Young Age?

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Thank you for the question and picture.
Based on the description of your body type you have likely experienced  the physical and psychological "symptoms"  secondary to the relatively large breasts. Your breasts may have also limited you in doing  the activities that you enjoy doing.  It  is very likely that you will be  a great candidate for breast reduction surgery.

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

 I hope this helps.

Candidate for Breast Reduction?

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As a 32 J, yes you should be an ideal candidate for a breast reduction procedure. However, every insurance company is different and there are certain criterion you must meet to have this procedure covered. The trade-off you need to consider is whether smaller breasts are worth the scarring that will result. Most women say absolutely yes, but this is a personal choice. Your age, as well, is enough to undergo this procedure safely. 

You should see a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to get a formal opinion through and in-person consultation.


Best of luck,

Vincent Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Vincent P. Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Breast reduction

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Breast reduction can certainly help you, however you should see an experienced board certified plastic surgeon for a medical consultation to find out if this is right for you. During the consultation, you'll discuss the risks associated with the procedure so you can make an informed decision.  

Breast Reduction Candidate

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There is not an age limit for breast reduction surgery. It is best to wait at least 1 year from the time that your breast finishes growing. This will allow for optimal correction, and minimizes the possibility that you need a 2nd surgery soon afterwards. In addition to being a candidate, you will need to be able to have parental consent and provide informed consent (or have your parent's provide informed consent on your behalf). When you are ready, consult in person with 3 experienced and expert board certified plastic surgeons to understand your options.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Breast reduction at 17

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Reductions can be done as early as 15 with parental consent, and the proper medical clearances. Insurance coverage is a hit or miss depending on the carrier.  Some insurance will cover if you have symptoms related to large breasts. 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 in a 17 year old

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Unclothed photos would be much more definitive as to your breast size. In NY, insurance carriers deny everyone under 18 right now. However, at 17, this is a good time to begin exploring the procedure, ascertaining what hurdles you will have to leap over to have the surgery approved by the insurance company and to follow through on this. Good luck!

Breast reduction as a teen

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Breast reduction as a teen can be appropriate provided you have reached maturity in terms of growth, and interms of understanding the trade-off of breast reduction. We like reduction just after senior year and before college as friends will not be as familiar. Remember the reduction can impact breast feeding, hardly on the radar now, and also leaves a scar you must be comfortable with for years to come. Reduction is not just about looks but symptoms as well, and a surgeon in your area might start with a predetermination process with your insurance if he finds you are ready.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Eligibility for breast reduction

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Based on your photo of your breast size you would be considered a candidate for breast reduction.  However, problems associated with the size of your breasts are also important considerations: shoulder, back, neck pain, interference with activities, skin irritation, shoulder grooving from your bra.  These are the symptoms that are considered if insurance covers this procedure.  Whether it is a "covered"procedure will depend on the insurance company as some do not even cover this procedure anymore.

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon

Am 17 Years Old. I Am a Size 32J in Bras, 5'5 and 150lbs. Am I Eligible for a Breast Reduction? (photo)

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The posted photo is really a great IN CLOTHES view, but not helpful. Best to see a boarded PS with a parent to discuss breast reduction after a complete examination. 

Wait Until Breasts Have Stopped Growing Before Proceeding With Breast Reduction Surgery

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         Not only do you have large breasts at an early age, but you’re already suffering significant symptoms. I generally prefer to wait until the breast have stopped growing before proceeding with breast reduction, but in your case, early intervention may be appropriate because of your symptoms.


         I recommend consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon. Obviously your parents need to be involved in the process as well. Breast reduction has significant benefits and patients who undergo the procedure at an early age experience the benefits over a lifetime. There are downsides as well. These include the potential inability to breast feed, prolonged healing, decreased nipple sensation and scarring. In my experience, patients who undergo breast reduction at an early age not only experience relief of these symptoms, but also an improved quality of life. 

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.