18 yr old, female, 5' 1", my breast are causing me to be very unhappy. Am I eligible for a breast reduction?

They affect me every day, i am constantly unhappy with how i look, i feel great and then i catch a glimpse from the side and see how unproportional they are compared to the rest, ive tried losing weight but they get in the way of me exercising. I cant wear certain tops and i only feel comfortable in certain clothes and somedays i wont leave the house because im constanly worried about people looking at my noticably big breats. I've tried l minimizing bras and specail mad bras and im still unhappy 

Doctor Answers 3

Am I eligible for a breast reduction?

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It is difficult to assess your condition without photos, but you should know that breast surgery is a choice. It is usually not necessary but if it will boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem, then you may choose to have it. A breast reduction is one of your choices. It will decrease your breast size but if your breasts are saggy then you could also consider a breast lift.

Breast reduction surgery candidate?

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I'm sorry to hear about the problems your disproportionately large breasts cause.

Based on your description, you may be an excellent candidate for breast reduction surgery. This operation tends to be one of the most patient pleasing operations to perform.   

“Typical” patients who present for breast reduction surgery are women who have disproportionately large breasts, causing problems such as neck/back/shoulder discomfort, postural changes, bra strap grooving, skin irritation/rashes under the breasts, and/or difficulty with activities of daily living and/or exercise etc. There may be both physical as well as psychosocial “stress” caused by the disproportionately large breasts.

Reducing breast tissue mass and elevating the breasts on the chest wall tend to improve or alleviate many of the symptoms associated with the disproportionately large breasts.

Patients considering breast reduction surgery should also consider the potential downsides (risks/complications) associated with the procedure as well. Poor scarring, for example may be associated with the procedure. Additional surgery may be necessary in the short or longer term for a multitude of reasons. Timing of service should be individualized based on the specific patient's  life circumstances and preferences.

When the time is right, I suggest that you seek consultation with well experienced plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience achieving the types of outcomes you would be pleased with.

Then, I would suggest you visit a few surgeons whose practices concentrate on aesthetic surgery. Ask to see lots of examples of their work and preferably speak/see patients who have had similar procedures done.

Once you have chosen your plastic surgeon carefully, it will be important for you to communicate her goals carefully as well. In my practice, I asked patients to use as many “visual aids”, such as goal photographs, during the communication process. Avoid the use of subjective terms; for example, "C cup” and/or “proportionate"… these terms can be confusing, since they may mean different things to different people. 

I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to breast reduction surgery concerns), helps. Best wishes.

Eligible for breast reduction?

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Basically, health insurance companies will consider breast reduction medically necessary if the breasts are disproportionately large, there are associated medial problems (such as neck/back/shoulder pain, chronic dampness and rashes beneath the breasts), and the estimated amount of tissue to be removed matches their algorithm for coverage.  Also, in the case of a teenager, they want to know that your breasts aren't continuing to develop.  So, breast size must be stable for at least one year. 

If you meet all these criteria, then you may be able to get coverage for the procedure.  I suggest a consultation with an experienced, board-certified Plastic Surgeon to discuss you options and determine your eligibility.  Best of luck.  The is a GREAT procedure for the right candidate.

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.