Advice on Breast Reduction for a 15 Year Old

This may be similar to other questions but, I'm 15 years old, my height is approximately 5'2" and I weigh about 45 kilograms (99.20 lbs). My breast size is an 8D/DD, in Australia (30D/DD - U.S). I have been experiencing back and shoulder problems. I feel really unproportioned and self-conscious about my breasts. I've also stopped activities I really enjoy such as dancing, swimming and most sports because me breasts begin hurt. I have been researching it and wanted a professional opinion.

Doctor Answers 8

Advice on breast reduction in youths?

Thank you for your question!  I hope that these answers help in making your decision.  You suffer from juvenile hypertrophy of the breasts, which is typically treated by breast reduction.  It is not uncommon to have the symptoms that you describe such as neck/back/shoulder pain as well as infections/rashes and shoulder grooving, especially in teenagers once her breasts begin to fully develop.  The decision on timing and if to proceed will ultimately be yours.

Once one begins to have the symptoms that you state above, consideration for a surgical procedure to ameliorate your symptoms, assist with self esteem, and allow you to get back to physical activities in your youth should be done.  Given your symptoms,  you would be an ideal candidate.  You must first discuss with your parents and pediatrician, and then consulting with a plastic surgeon for evaluation and examination to assist you in deciding if this would be the right thing for you.  Your surgeon will also go over what to expect as well as the risks and benefits of the procedure.  Overall, your symptoms should be ameliorated almost immediately and hopefully give you more self confidence and an increased activity level.  Your breasts may still continue to grow over the next several years, but it is certainly reasonable to consider this at this age with the issues that you are having.  I hope that this helps!  Good luck with your decision!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast Reduction at 15?

Thank you for the question.
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.  Unsatisfactory scarring is  one of the potential complications. 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.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Breast reduction at 15

If you are of adult size and are no longer growing and menstruating regularly, you may be a candidate for a breast reduction but you will need parental consent to go for consultation.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast reduction in a 15 year old

First discuss this as a medical problem with your mother and pediatrician. They will be able to offer you advice about your candidacy for the procedure. At your age, you are a bit early to consider the procedure but if your growth has stablilized, it is not unreasonable to begin the education process in preparation for the procedure

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

NO RUSH. Explore the issue COMPLETELY!

Dear Lara,

I would approach your issue very cautiously.  obviously, I would recommend having you and parent(s) see your primary care physician to rule out any muscular and or skeletal problems that may cause back and shoulder pain.  Non surgical therapy (anti-immflamatory medication, muscle relaxers, physical therapy, etc.) should be tried first.  If all else fails the a consultation with several board certified plastic surgeons should be obtained to render an opinion concerning your breasts.  There several psychological issues as well physical/biological issues that need to be addressed concerning a 15 year old patient.

Good luck

Dr. ES

Breast Reduction in a Teen

Although we prefer to wait until your breasts have stopped growing before doing a breast reduction, if you are having the problems you state, then a reduction at your age is appropriate if you understand that your breast may continue to grow and need something else done in the future.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Breast Reductions in teenagers for specific reasons

The rules of breast reductions in a teenager;

1- Understand that all surgery has risks.

2- There will be pain and discomfort and the healing process will take time.

3- Ideally, breast reduction is performed when the breasts have stopped growing, but in teens with large breasts, you may need additional surgeries if the breasts continue to grow.

4- Number one reason for the surgery is to relieve back and breast pain.

5- Number two reason is to allow you to perform activities (exercise, sports, socializing) that you have stopped doing.

6- The most important thing to realize is that this will not change your personality or get you better or different friends. Do not do it because other people tell you to! Get it because you need it!

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast reduction in teenager

Although your breasts have not completely developed, it is often advantageous to do breast reductions early, no only for symptoms but for social and emotional issues as well. These can be more traumatic and long-lasting than physical symptoms. However, you should fully discuss this with a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon as well as your parents. Liposuction only and limit scar type reductions may be able to get you through these formative years, relieve your symptoms, and not over-treat your problem before you are fully developed.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.