Am I a Good Candidate for a BR? 17 Yrs Old

I'm barely 17 now, and I'm a 32 G cup, and I'm not even sure I may be done growing, since I am a "late bloomer". I'm also not sure whether I'd be a good candidate for one. I'm 5'7 and weigh 130 lbs, and also have shoulder grooves, sagging, and neck pain, too. Sorry I can't provide any pictures, either.

Doctor Answers 11

Teenage with large breasts

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You are a perfect candidate for a breast reduction. Large breasts are not that uncommon in the teenage population. For some women, the breasts grow very large at a very young age. This can lead to psychological and physical symptoms as you describe. Breast reduction for teenage patients is very successful in minimizing these symptoms. Most reductions are of the anchor type incision but sometimes we can perform a scarless breast reduction with liposuction only. Your insurance should cover this due to your size and symptoms. See a qualified PS for a consult and pre authorization for insurance coverage.

New alternative breast reduction technique

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Breast reductions can be perfomed on 17 year old women who have approval from their parents.  The most commonly used technique is the boat anchor shaped incision, which results in nipple numbness and loss of breast feeding.  There is a new technique called The Ultimate Breast Reduction.  This technique reshapes your breast tissue increasing upper pole fullness, elevates the breast higher on the chest wall and more medial to increase cleavage.  Pain is relieved by transferring the weight to the underlying muscle.  The breasts are reduced to the size proportional to the body while preserving the ability to breast feed and nipple sensation.  You would be an excellent candidate for this new technique.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Breast reduction options

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Since you are still a minor, you should discuss the issue with your parents and look into getting a consultation with a plastic surgeon.  Without photos I can't give you more specific info on your particular situation.

Am I a Good Candidate for a BR? 17 Yrs Old

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You are not alone and we have seen many girls in your situation.  Your symptoms do justify an early surgical intervention; whether you are a candidate as far as the insurance companies are concerned is a different matter.  Insurance companies have become very difficult to deal with, especially as relates to a BR.  However, it seems you do need to have this done, but you have to understand that you do stand a chance of regrowth and may need to have it done again in the future.  One word of advice, since your records may not be readily available if and when the time comes for a second breast reduction make sure you get a copy of your report of operation and your pre-op photos and keep them in a safe place.

Almost always best to wait until breasts have stopped growing to do breast reduction.

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I understand how upsetting your situation is.  But you don't want to have to do this twice.  So I would wait probably another two years to be sure your breasts have stopped growing.

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

Breast reduction for a teenager

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It is not unreasonable to have a breast reduction at 17 however due to significant possibility of future growth it is difficult to determine to appropriate amount to remove.  If a reasonable amount is removed and good result obtained but then there is continued significant growth it is likely that the growth would not be sufficient to meet insurance requirements for a second reduction and you may be stuck with an large out-of-pocket expense that could have been avoided by waiting another couple of years.  Be sure to find a surgeon certified by the American board of Plastic Surgery and have an honest discussion about why you feel you need to have a reduction and get their advice.

Jeffrey Thaxton, MD
Charleston Plastic Surgeon

Adolescent breast reduction

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I have performed breast reductions on teenagers. I would be concerned about the potential for future growth. This is measured not only in terms of height but with respect to the time of onset of menses. However, your parents' insurance company will not pay for a breast reduction until you reach 18. Many insurers also require proof of chiropractic, physical therapy, etc. as a prerequisite to surgery so this is a good time to address those issues. Additionally, you could only undergo surgery with parental consent until majority.

Breast reduction for teenagers

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I think performing breast reduction prior to age 18 is actually a very good.  My younger patients heal very well, and they can take advantage at an earlier age from the cosmetic and functional benefits of the surgery.  Based on your height and weight and breast size, you should be considered a good candidate from an insurance carrier standpoint as well.

Angela Keen, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Teenagers are occasionally good candidate for breast reduction.

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When large breasts become a functional impairment many women choose to have a breast reduction. The parents will take ultimate responsibility but most young women can make an intelligent choice of their own.

Breast Reduction for a 17 year old

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  • Surgery is often a very good option for women who have discomfort related to their large breasts.  Teenagers with very large breasts, such as you have, may consider a breast reduction.  Having very large breasts as a teenager can be troubling for many reasons. In addition to back, neck, and shoulder pain, some young women also suffer emotionally as well.
  • Having the largest breasts in one's junior high school/middle school can negatively impact self-esteem.  Playing sports such as volleyball or running track is also really difficult and can be uncomfortable.  The youngest patients I have performed breast reductions for were 15 years old. Their parents and pediatricians were very supportive of their decision, and after their breast reduction they were able to more easily enjoy the sports at school that they were so fond of.  Additionally, these young women were a lot less self-conscious after the operation.
  • Our biggest concern with performing a breast reduction on a patient as young as yourself is the possible need for another breast reduction down the road.  It is possible that your breasts will continue to get larger, and you may desire another breast reduction in the future.  As you point out, your breasts could still be growing. 
  • Definitely meet with a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area to discuss the operation in detail.

Best of luck to you!

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.