I Need a to Know if I Need Breast Surgery?

Hi, I'm only 16 years old & Ive noticed that my breast are saggy & that my breast have unusual scaring and the outerpart of my nipple is huge! And I don't like it at all. It makes me uncomfortable to change at school for gym like the rest of the girls ...so can you PLEASE help mE!!!

Doctor Answers 4

Breasts come in all kinds of size and shape, but surgery can change that!

I am sorry to hear of your social discomfort. As a father of 4 girls, I truly understand what you are feeling. (BTW, boys have similar concerns in their own locker rooms!) Surely if you have changed in the locker room with other young women you already know that breasts are like many other parts of the body--they come in all different sizes and shapes. It is clear that you do not like certain aspects of your own breast appearance. I suspect that other girls in your class have similar feelings about their own breasts (except for the one or two girls with "perfect breasts"). Each one of you probably has different ideas about who those girls might be!

All this is to gently tell you that this is a normal part of growing up, and that once your growth is complete (breasts and the rest of you) you could very well be a candidate for breast surgery to improve the size and shape of your breasts. Unless you have had previous surgery or injury, what you preceive as scars are likely stretch marks (striae is the plural of stria, the medical term for stretch marks), and these can occur without weight gain or pregnancy in several areas of the body from hormone changes (puberty being one huge hormonal change). Striae can be lasered to reduce pink or red coloration, but cannot be removed.

Large areolas and sagging breasts can be reduced and lifted, but surgery and permanent scars would be necessary. This may well be a trade-off you wish to consider. You can seek advice from one or several American Board of Plastic Surgery-certified plastic surgeons (look online at surgery.org), usually without cost for consultation, and can find out what is best for you, as well as the cost, risks, and anticipated results. You would need parental consent for surgery before age 18, and waiting until your growth is complete, your weight normal for your height, and ability to pay for the elective cosmetic surgery requested are also necessary.

However, information that can help ease your concerns is free--please continue with your research and start saving. Even though you may feel your breasts are so different from other women's breasts, surgery such as you are inquiring about is almost always considered cosmetic and elective in nature, and NOT covered by any sort of insurance.

Be bold and brave in the meantime; change with all the rest of the girls and realize they all have similar or even worse insecurities! Best wishes!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Breast Surgery at 16

You may have a tubular breast defromity.  Typically this can be corrected earlier than a woman who just has sagging breasts.  It is always a good idea to wait for full development but in some cases correction of this deformity can be carried out earlier rather than later.

Robert Kearney, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

I Need a to Know if I Need Breast Surgery? ANS:

As Plastic Surgeons we have all seen young women that feel just like you. In fact I just was on a news program about a girl your age that was bullied at school and online for the very same thing so I know what you are going through. We recommend in most cases to wait until you are a bit older and then have correction if you choose, but in rare cases (like the one of mine) surgery can be done before and it really did change the life of the patient that I know! But just know that Plastic Surgeons in your area can help!!!!

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Need Breast Surgery at 16 Years of Age?

Thank you for the question. You should be aware that what you are experiencing is not unusual. I would suggest that you meet with well-experienced board-certified plastic surgeons in  person for direct examination and a full communication of your goals. If at all possible, it will be in your best interest to wait  until you have fully “developed” to have any type of surgical procedure done.  Waiting until that time will allow you to do your homework and learn about the pros/cons of breast surgery. Furthermore waiting until you have fully developed physically will maximize the chances of  long-term successful breast surgery outcome.  In other words,  waiting to have breast surgery will minimize the chances that further surgery will be necessary in the near future.

Hopefully you have your parents' support.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,485 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.