Am I Suitable for a Breast Reduction? (photo)

I am 15 years old, 40 E bra size, my height is 5'1 and I weigh 15 stone. I am suffering from really bad back and neck pain, my posture is really bad from the weight of my breasts. I have tried to lose weight but is not possible as I cannot exercise due to back pain, uncomfortable, drag etc. This has really lowered my self esteem and I am very self consious. I started to develop at age 7. My breasts have been the same size for over a year. I just wondered wether I would be a good candidate?

Doctor Answers 7

Am I Suitable for a Breast Reduction?

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Needed nude posted photos to truly see the size of your breasts! Best to seek in person evaluations. But my guess is yes a reduction could help. 

Juvenile breast hypertrophy

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Thanks for your question. You suffer from an excessive early breast growth or what we call juvenile breast hypertrophy. My advice is to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon in company of an adult guardian (parents, care givers, etc) to discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure. In my experience patients like you are very pleased with the results and in a recent study we completed with regards to breast reduction in adolescents over 90 % stated they would do it again and they recommend the procedure. Best of luck to you.

Breast reduction decisions

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Thank you for the question and the photos.  Breast reduction surgery can be a very positive event in a woman's life when the decision is made carefully, the patient is a good candidate, and the procedure is performed properly.  As with all breast procedures the chance for unacceptable scarring, asymmetry, and nipple/areola numbness should be considered.  In the right hands these potential negative events are rare.  Some questions that you should evaluate prior to undergoing a breast reduction include:  are you at your ideal weight?  are you wearing the proper support?, can you modify your activity and posture to increase strength and decrease pain?, and finally do you like the appearance of your breasts?  The reason for these questions is self-explanatory.  If you like the way your breasts look and can improve your symptoms by modifying you weight, posture, activity, support, etc then breast reduction is not the answer for you.  If you would like smaller breasts, do not mind the potential risks that can be associated with surgery, and have addressed the issues that you can address then breast reduction surgery can be a very good option.

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

Breast reduction in teenagers

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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, especially in teenagers once her breast 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.  I would recommend discussing 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.  I hope that this helps!  Good luck with your decision!

Breast Reduction at age 15

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    If there is a great deal of discomfort with large breasts, surgery to intervene before the age of 18 is appropriate in conjunction with the parents' approval.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Breast Reduction at 15?

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I'm sorry to hear about the physical and psychosocial problems your disproportionately large breasts are causing you. 
It is probable that 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 your frame causing  both physical and psychological distress.

In my practice, timing of breast reduction surgery is determined on a case-by-case basis. It is not too early to do your homework and learn as much as possible  about  breast reduction surgery and the potential risks and complications associated with  the procedure.  Hopefully you have the support of your parents as you do your homework.

As you learn about breast reduction surgery, make sure you read about the potential risk/complications associated with the procedure. You may find the attached link helpful in this regard.  For example, unsatisfactory scarring is  one of the potential complications. Make sure you also understand 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.
 When the time is right,  seek consultation with well-trained/experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.

I hope this helps.

Am I Suitable for a Breast Reduction

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Start with a discussion with your pediatrician. Breast size is not the only cause of the symptoms you have noted. After an evaluation, your doc can make a referral.

It is uncommon but not unheard of to do a breast reduction on patients under 18

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.