Do I Need a Breast Lift or Breast Reduction?

I'm 16 years old and I currently wear a 34D (quite uncomfortably). I want small nipples, perkier breasts, and smaller ones. What procedures do I need? Will I need implants in order to make keep them at, say, a C cup and still have them be perky? What do you guys recommend that I have done?

Doctor Answers 12

There are several main differences between a breast lift and a breast reduction

Sometimes, it is very difficult for patients to know whether they need a breast lift or a breast reduction.  Basically, a breast lift raises the nipple/areola and can restore volume to the upper portions of the breast.  Sometimes, a breast implant (silicone or saline) can be used with a lift to help when a lot more volume is desired.  A breast reduction not only lifts the nipple/areola, it also makes the breast smaller.  The incisions for a breast lift and a breast reduction can be as small as only around the areola or as large as the "anchor" type incision.  Check with your plastic surgeon to determine what approach is best for you to achieve your aesthetic goals.  In both the breast lift and reduction, the areolae are made smaller if they are extremely large.  This can happen especially after breastfeeding.  The recovery is generally easier for a breast lift which takes about 5-7 days.  A breast reduction may take longer (10-14 days) depending on how much breast tissue is removed.

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 202 reviews

Most Breast Reduction Surgeries Also Lift

A breast reduction from a D to a C  cup size for example includes a lift as part of this procedure. See the below link for more information.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Breast Lift or Breast Reduction?

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. If this is the case, you will benefit from breast reduction surgery.

As  you think  about  breast reduction surgery make sure you do your homework and understand the potential risks and complications associated with  the procedure.  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).

Later down the line,  if you decide you wish to have more fullness superiorly than breast implants may be indicated.

Best wishes.

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

Breast reduction at 16

It sounds to me that based on your discomfort, you might need a reduction. At age 16, your breasts may still enlarge as time goes by or they may shrink with a future pregnancy; these factors are unpredictable, so in the end if you decide to have surgey at 16 to 18 just be aware that you might require other procedures in the future.

Deason Dunagan, MD
Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Breast uplift

It really depends on you. If you feel your breasts are too large, then you could have a reduction in their size, even a small one. If you are just concerned that they have sagged, which would be unusual for your age, then just an uplift or mastopexy would be the answer. I am offering a temporary price reduction for all cosmetic surgery as well as excellent financing to make it much more affordable. Watch my videos on my site.

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Breast reduction

If your breasts are very large and you want them reduced, then allt he things you want will be accomplished. If you want them lifted, it would be hard to say without a good exam.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast lift or breast reduction

I would be very very careful in approaching your surgery care. You failed to post photos so I can guess you need a lift small reduction. I would discuss the options and risk/benefit ratios with you and your family in detail before doing any surgery. Just my approach.


Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Breast lift or reduction in a 16 year old

I would agree with Dr. Aldea in this regard. For symptomatic heavy, uncomfortable breasts, I would advise a breast reduction. I generally would not perform a lift to achieve "perky" breasts in a 16 year old unless associated with a severe constricted breast deformity (tuberous breast).

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Breast Lift VS Breast Reduction in a 16 year old

Most Plastic surgeons would approach breast surgery in a 16 year old very carefully. In many the breast have not completed their development and their self-perception and body image may be distorted and influenced by peers and media figures. If at all possible, I would postpone such operations for a two or more years, the sole exception being large, symptomatic breasts which are associated with exercise restrictions and social implications.

In general, different operations are done for different indications. If you are bothered by sagging breasts but are satisfied by the volume - all you may need is a Breast Lift (Mastopexy). If you are bothered by large sagging breasts, you may benefit from Breast reduction (which will both reduce and lift the breasts). If you are bothered by sagging small breasts, you may benefit from a Breast Augmentation with a Lift.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

You may need both

A breast reduction involves a lift as well.  The question is whether your breasts are still growing or not.  At 16 your breast growth might not be complete.  If it is, then you might be a candidate for a reduction.  Be sure you understand all of the risks of breast reduction surgery before proceeding.  Good luck!

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 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.