What is Breast Reduction Surgery Like?

Hello, I'm 15 years old going on sixteen, my height is about 4'11" and I'm more than likely going to stay that way. My weight is 154.4 lbs. My breasts are size 36H. I'm definetly planning on getting a breast reduction surgery in junior or senior year in highschool, but I also have a slight fear of surgeries. I'm mostly worried if the numbing/anaesthetic doesn't completely work. So, I was wondering would I be a candidate for said surgery and what would the surgery be like?

Doctor Answers 15

Good Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery?

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It sure sounds like you would be a good candidate to consider breast reduction surgery when the time is right.  Most patients who have this type of surgery complain of heavy breasts, upper and/or lower back pain, some neck strain, grooving of their bra straps over their shoulders, and some rubbing under the breasts.  The breast size should have been relatively unchanged for at least two years before having the surgery.  It is natural to have concerns about any elective operation.  The surgery is done on an outpatient basis, and usually under general anesthesia, so feeling the anesthetic should not be an issue.  You will need two weeks off if you work or in school, and the full recovery can be 6-8 weeks in returning to all activities.  Breast reduction surgery is highly successful for most patients.  You are smart to do your research now, so you will be ready in another year or two.  Best wishes.

Michael Vincent, MD, FACS

Rockville Plastic Surgeon

Breast reduction

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You have really common concerns about anesthesia.  Almost all patient have similar worries.  Here at Real Self we encourage patients to seek out board certified plastic surgeons, similarly I like for patients to request a board certified anesthesiologist.  In my practice, I only use BC anesthesiologist and they work to communicate to you what you should expect and also what they do to monitor your level of anesthesia during the procedure.  Once you have heard them go through what the do, I am sure most of your worries will be gone.  Good luck.

Breast reduction surgery

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Breast reduction surgery is very safe and so is the anesthesia.  The discomfort that patients have after surgery is more soreness than severe pain/  Usually after surgery you have to take it easy for a week or two to allow things to heal.

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

What is Breast Reduction Surgery Like?

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I must congratulate you on starting to research your proposed surgery at this early age of 14. As previously stated see with your parent(s) a boarded PS in your area. At that visit have a written list of questions to go over with the doctor. Make sure you understand everything. Than as a senior in high school plan on having the surgery. Best regards Dr. B from MIAMI

Fears about breast reduction surgery

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Breast reduction can be a frightening experience for anyone. Breast reduction surgery is performed under a general anesthesia which always works so you should not worry about being uncomfortable, and most will not even stay overnight at a hospital. The breast is reduced in young patients with a vertical technique, which allows showering within three days, and being out and about in a weeks time. See a surgeon in your area for their experience and recommendations.

Best of luck,


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

Candidate for Breast Reduction

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If you are healthy and properly evaluated there should be no reason why you wouldn't be a good candidate for the Breast Reduction procedure. It is very common to have it performed during high school. The surgery, if done by a Board Certified Plastic surgeon, will be done under general anesthesia. This means that you will be asleep during the procedure. You should see a surgeon to find out their exact technique. Most Plastic Surgeons goal is to have the least scarring possible. I hope this helps. Good Luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Expectations from a breast reduction in a girl under 18 years old

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The questions that you raised are excellent ones regarding a breast reduction. From the information that you supplied, you appear to be a great candidate for the surgery even though you are not 18 yet.

As you are a minor, you should express your concerns with your parent(s) who can then arrange at some point in time to obtain one or more consultations with board certified plastic surgeons. Your local plastic surgeon can then explain the breast reduction surgery to you in great detail and answer any questions that you may have.

Having extremely large breasts can be/is problematic and at your age even more so. The outcome from a breast reduction on multiple levels is usually extremely good - something that you would want to know. In fact of al the plastic surgery procedures done (cosmetic), women who have undergone a breast reduction are the happiests - even more so than for breast augmentations.

Good luck!

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast Reduction for Teenager?

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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.  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.

A Wonderful Case Study for You to See Below - Breast Reduction

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Breast reduction surgery is one of the best tolerated surgeries in plastic surgery. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia so it is highly unlikely that you will have any awareness during the surgery. Most surgery centers can place an iv and if you are super nervous, you can be given some iv sedation immediately on entering the operating room. I have found that my teenage patients do very well in our small, accredited surgical center. The patient has the opportunity to meet all the surgical nurses before the day of their surgery making the surrounding familiar and avoiding the impersonal, hectic atmosphere of a major hospital. Patients recover in a few days and it is a pleasure to watch them walk into the office smiling with their new bodies!!

Carlin Vickery, MD (retired)
New York Plastic Surgeon

What is breast reduction surgery like?

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Breast reduction surgery is generally a very safe procedure.  It sounds like you would be a good candidate for breast reduction surgery.  I perform this surgery under general surgery.  It would be exceedingly rare for the anesthesia not to work properly.  Afterwards women usually do fine with oral pain medications.

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.