Teen Breast Reduction: Am I a candidate?

I'm fifteen, and am a 12E - F (depending on the store) NZ size, and at sixteen I am seriously considering getting a reduction. I started wearing bras in primary school, and have not gone up a cup size in nearly a year. I've had my period since I was eleven, and feel I have had all major growth.

I have red indentations in my shoulders from my bra straps, and though I have never mentioned the back pain I have to anyone else it's still there. Is it a good idea? It's both personal and medical.

Doctor Answers 5

Teens can benefit from breast reduction!

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Cosmetic surgery is not suggested for teenagers because of social and maturity issues.

However, breast reduction surgery may not fall into this category. Excessively large breasts (macromastia) can result in back and shoulder pain, breast pain, notching of the shoulders, poor posture, weight gain, depression and social isolation. It is for all these reasons that breast reduction surgery is important to so many teens.

Rules of thumb to decide if you are right for this surgery include;

1-Reasonable expectations - not all surgery is perfect, surgery has risks, there may be pain and most importantly social relationships may not change because of the surgery.

2-This is your idea and was not dictated by a parent or close friend.

3-At least one year from your first period and your breasts have not grown for at least one year.

4- seek out a compassionate surgeon with skills in many different breast reduction procedures, because one key does not fit all keyholes.


Good Luck!

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Teen breast reduction - am I a candidate?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

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.  It is a reasonable decision - the decision will be yours ultimately.

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!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Candidate for Teen Breast Reduction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I can understand your  emotional  and physical distress you are experiencing by the nature of your question. In most cases we recommend that you wait just a few years until you are fully grown would be best as you will have a result that is more likely to be stable. If you continue to grow after surgery then you may have to have a separate all over again for the best results.  The fact that you mentioned that your breasts have stopped growing for the past year doesn't mean that they might over the next few years but on the other hand means that you may be able to have this procedure at this age. You did not provide your height and weight, but often losing some weight but being in an optimal weight range may help many.It is not too early however to educate yourself by seeing a board certified plastic surgeon for evaluation and discussion for the near future. This will determine if you have to wait or not

Breast reduction surgery for teenager

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Age is not a limiting factor in determining whether you are a good candidate for a breast reduction. I recommend finding a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss the best and safest possible option for you. The procedure involves removal of excess tissue and reshaping of the breasts to help improve posture and relieve any back/neck/shoulder pain. Smaller breasts often provide almost immediate physical and psychological/emotional benefits. Therefore, breast reduction is one of the most patient pleasing operations we do.

On this site, I do my best to give advice without a physical examination but I want you to know that a physical examination by a certified physician is always the best way to get the most accurate information.  

Teen breast reduction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Obviously this is quite controversial. For many years when I did the traditional breast reduction with the extensive incisions, which is what it sounds like you will require, I would dread the thought of dealing with the postoperative scars.
No matter how much you explain to patient and family before the procedure, it is quite a shock when they see what it looks like in six months or a year.

For many years now I do only the "Scarless", breast reduction and feel much more comfortable offering this variation of the surgery to teenage patients. It is still definitely not for everyone and has significant limitations but it is an option.

Sherwood Baxt, MD
Paramus 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.