Could and should I get a breast reduction?

I am 14 with a 32H. I have back and neck pain, shoulder indentations, nerve problems, rashes, clothing issues, restrictive activity, and unwanted attention. My dad told me to lose weight to lose the breast. I lose 10 pounds, but gained to cup sizes. He is worried that the doctor will tell me to wait or to lose weight, but I have a feeling if I don't do it I will miss out on things that I should be able to do as a teen. I would like your input.

Doctor Answers 4

Breast reduction criteria

Breast reductions are indicated when patients have neck, back or shoulder pain attributed to large breasts and need weight removal to meet the insurance criteria. At size 32 each 100 grams of tissue corresponds to 1 cup size change. I recommend a new technique called The Ultimate Breast ReductionTM. This technique avoids the ugly vertical scars of the traditional technique, maintains nipple sensation and the ability to breast feed. Pain is relieved by transferring the weight of the breast to the underlying muscle rather than excessive reduction and allows the patient to keep the size proportionate to their body. I do not recommend the traditional technique, which uses the anchor incision, since it results in ugly vertical scars, nipple numbness and the inability to breast feed. Surgery would require parental approval in a minor.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 223 reviews

Right time for breast reduction?

There is no reason for you to suffer the physical and psychological pain of disproportionately large breasts. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon he/she can help you determine the best treatment plan and work with your insurance company regarding coverage. Thanks for your question.

Gregory Pisarski, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Could and should I get a breast reduction at 14?

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.

In my practice, timing of breast reduction surgery is determined on a case-by-case basis. It is NOT too early to do your homework and learn as much as possible  about  breast reduction surgery and the potential risks and complications associated with  the procedure.   

As you learn about breast reduction surgery, make sure you read about the potential risks/complications associated with the procedure. You may find the attached link helpful in this regard.  For example, 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). Generally speaking, the best I have the procedure performed once you have reached “physical maturity”.

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, and the attached link, helps.

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

Could and should I get a breast reduction?

At your age a large percent of the breast is true breast tissue and not responsive to weight loss. But no plastic surgeon will want to do a reduction until you are a little older and have shown no change in your breast size for a minimum of 12 months.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.