Would a surgeon be willing to do a double mastectomy on someone who isn't at risk for cancer? (photos)

I'm 18 & a C/D cup. I've always hated having breasts. Every day I wear like 4 sports bras just to flatten them & prevent them from bouncing every where. They already sag a lot cause I refused to wear bras when I was younger & I was an athlete. I have rashes under my breasts. My skin is always dry & smells foul. I love being female, but I'm tired of being in physical/mental pain from my breasts. Could I do this if I don't have cancer? How much would it cost? Could my nipples still remain?

Doctor Answers 7


It sounds that you would benefit from breast reduction and lift rather than complete mastectomy to make you feel comfortable. Please get a few opinions from reputable breast surgeons / plastic surgeons before you do anything as radical as mastectomies for your symptoms. Mastectomy can be a life saving intervention and our techniques have improved dramatically over recent years so that women can retain their nipples and skin and have an excellent cosmetic result while reducing their risk of developing breast cancer (if done prophylactically - before cancer) or recurrence - after development of cancer. But in those patients without breast cancer or a high risk of developing it, the risk benefit ratio may not be worth it. Despite a great look, mastectomy and reconstruction compromises sensation - some women are completely numb.  Frequently women require several revisions to get the look they want and surgery is painful and not without risk, however minimal. Good luck and take care.

Please don't just straight to a mastectomy!

You need a breast reduction.  How about a cute B cup?  I understand your frustrations with having large breasts, but removing them altogether is a bit drastic.  Find an ASAPS member surgeon in your area and go for a consult.  Good luck!

Robert S. Houser, DO
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Breast lift or mastectomy?

Far more important than the technique or treatment options you are considering is the skill and experience of your plastic surgeon. Choose your surgeon rather than the technique and let them explain why one technique may be better than another.
See the below link on some suggestions on finding the most qualified Plastic Surgeon for a breast lift or a mastectomy. 

A mastopexy or breast-lift operation is designed to improve the shape and position of the breasts without reducing their size. It is used for breasts that sag but are not overly large. Sagging of the breasts may occur with normal development for some women, or as a part of aging. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, and weight loss are other conditions which increase breast ptosis (sagging). Some patients will achieve a better breast shape if an implant is used at the time of mastopexy.

A Breast Reduction Might be a Great Answer!

 A breast reduction will decrease rashes and foul smelling skin problems about 90% of the time. Additionally, the sagging of the breast can be largely eliminated with a breast reduction. Your nipples can remain, and you may have a beautiful female physique after breast reduction. 
Women are able to exercise more easily after breast reduction. 
Breast pain is often decreased or eliminated with breast reduction. 

That may improve everything on your list!

You our likely would not qualify for insurance coverage, but a cosmetic breast reduction would work.  The average cost on RealSelf is $6775.  There are regional cost differences.   My charge for a breast reduction (including facility fee, anesthesia, and surgeons fee is $5740.  

Bilateral mastectomy

Although bilateral mastectomy is an option I would doubt that I would offer you this. you have aesthetic breasts which could be reduced while still giving you the functional benefits. I would urge you to go down this route first - you can always consider more radical surgery if you are not happy. It is very difficult to give back once it has been taken away.

Gary L. Ross, MBChB, FRCS
Manchester Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 138 reviews

Breast reduction

I do not think it is wise to undergo a bilateral subcutaneous mastectomy for the reasons you describe. A small reduction may be a solution to some of your problems.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Double mastectomy without cancer risk

Thank you for the question.   Judging from the photos, it appears that you would benefit from a bilateral breast reduction instead of total mastectomy.   Reducing your breasts to a smaller size would eliminate the need for "4 sports bras" and could significantly help with the rashes underneath your breasts.    Most surgeons will probably not opt for subcutaneous mastectomies based on your age.   

Joseph Franklin, MD
Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 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.