Teen Breast Reduction - Is Weight a Factor for Risk?

Hi, I am a 16 year old girl with size 34 G breasts. I am positive in my wish to get a breast reduction. Constant back pain can be helped by my chiropractor but does not fix my problem. My mother has only one concern : my weight. I am 5 5 and weigh around 165. She says a doctor is more likely to do the reduction if i am in better health. But also that my left breast is considerably larger than my right. So what i need to know it, does weight affect the risk of surgery? thank you for your time!

Doctor Answers 2

Is a weight a factor for breast reduction surgery?

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 always best to get down to your ideal weight prior to any consideration for surgical procedures.  Not only will your results be optimized, but your safety under anesthesia.  Complication rates certainly are increased in the obese.  Your height/weight are not too off the abnormal and assuming you are otherwise healthy, would likely be safe to proceed.  Discuss this preoperatively with your surgeon.  But, it is wise to get down to a lower weight.

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

Teen Breast Reduction and Weight?

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 your frame causing  both physical and psychological distress.

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.

It will be in your best interests  to reach a long-term stable weight prior to undergoing the procedure. This will minimize the chances that your breasts will change after the procedure ( secondary to weight loss)  and necessitate further surgery.

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 1,486 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.