Recommended Age to Have Breast Reduction?

What age do I have to be to have a Breast reduction even if I'm a size K and have all the symptoms that older women have? Worse still, it is ruining my childhood.

Doctor Answers 15

Recommended age to have a breast reduction?

Thank you for your question! I hope that these answers help in making your decision. You suffer from juvenile hypertrophy of the breasts, which is typically treated by breast reduction. It is not uncommon to have the symptoms that you describe such as neck/back/shoulder pain as well as infections/rashes and shoulder grooving, especially in teenagers once her breasts begin to fully develop.
Once one begins to have the symptoms that you state above, consideration for a surgical procedure to ameliorate your symptoms, assist with self esteem, and allow you to get back to physical activities in your youth should be done. Given your symptoms, you would be an ideal candidate. You must first discuss with your parents and pediatrician, and then consulting with a plastic surgeon for evaluation and examination to assist you in deciding if this would be the right thing for you. Your surgeon will also go over what to expect as well as the risks and benefits of the procedure. Overall, your symptoms should be ameliorated almost immediately and hopefully give you more self confidence and an increased activity level. Your breasts may still continue to grow over the next several years, but it is certainly reasonable to consider this at this age with the issues that you are having. I hope that this helps! Good luck with your decision!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Find a plastic surgeon, schedule a consultation--bring your parents!

Not only do you have large breasts at an early age, but you’re already suffering from significant symptoms.I generally prefer to wait until the breasts have stopped growing before proceeding with breast reduction, but in your case early intervention may be appropriate because of your symptoms.
I recommend consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon.Obviously your parents need to be involved in the process as well.Breast reduction has significant benefits and patients who undergo the procedure at an early age experience the benefits over a lifetime.
There are downsides as well.These include the potential inability to breast feed, prolonged healing, decreased nipple sensation and scarring.In my experience, patients who undergo breast reduction at an early age, not only experience relief of their symptoms, but also an improved quality of life.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Juvenile Breast Hypertrophy?

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.

There is no specific age when breast reduction is “allowed”.  Many patients who suffer from juvenile breast hypertrophy will have the procedure done in their later teenager years.

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).
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.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

Ideal age for breast reduction

There is no perfect age for a breast reduction. Patients will have changes and the growth and appearance of their breast into at least the early 20s. Therefore, it's recommended that a patient wait until the stage before considering significant surgery that will change the shape and quality of their breasts.

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Breast reduction and age

There is no specific age requirement for a breast reduction. Ideally you want to be of adult body habitus, menstruating regularly, etc. However, if your breasts are enormous at a young age and have impeded your ability to carry out routine daily activities than you are a candidate for a reduction.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Age for a breast reduction

 As long as you have stopped growing in height and breast size, and as long as you are very emotionally mature, there is no absolute age limit for a breast reduction done by a board certified plastic surgeon.  It is ideal if you can wait as long as possible but 16+ is okay. 

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Have breast reduction when breasts have stopped growing.


1) My heart goes out to you. You have 2 options.

2) You can have a breast reduction right now. We occasionally do this. But you have to realize that you will most likely need a revision when you are 20 and your breasts have stopped growing.

3) Or you can wait until your breasts have stopped growing and have only one operation, but that involves a lot of temporary suffering.

4) If you were my daughter, I probably would have you do the surgery right away.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast reduction on a teenager

I have seen breast reductions performed on girls who have been as young as 14 due to complaints of pain and discomfort. But this does not necessarily make it right. There are many factors that go into this decision making process and the risks must be weighed against the benefits. There is no simple answer and each person must be approached taking many factors into account. This can include: height, weight, growth curve, tolerance for scars, potential for continued growth, nursing potential, genetic history, overall health, emotional state, maturity, etc.

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

Many benefits to breast reduction surgery

There are several things that you should know before considering a breast reduction. It is not unusual to see young girls requesting a breast reduction. I lake for their breast growth to have been stable for at least one year. You will need the help of your parents to help you make the right decisions in this life changing procedure. There are many risks involved in any surgical procedure and you must weight these against the benefits. The scars are permanent. There can be problems with a regrowth of breast tissue if there is a continued hormonal influence. In the right patient it can be a great procedure and provides both physical as well as emotional benefits.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Early breast reduction surgery is recommended in some cases

Hello Nicole,

Most elective surgical procedures are better done after the age of 18. The idea is to properly inform you regarding all the risks and alternatives of the surgery. This is well know as the informed consent.

When it comes to a large breast reduction that could interfere with your social life , the age is not important and an earlier surgery would be recommended.

Best of luck!

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 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.