Teen Breast Reduction, When is a Good Time to Get this Done?

I'm a few months from 18, 5'1, 130lbs, 38D breasts... Constantly told by family and friends, to keep my size and I'll be happy I did in the end. When really I'm miserable, miss playing sports, jogging, and being able to not have back problems, my neck constantly hurts, my back hurts on a daily basis, hard to breath if I lay on my back, grooves from my bra's. How do I go about finding a good doc. to help with these problems, and when would be a good time to get this done?

Doctor Answers 7

Teen breast reduction - when is a good time to get this done?

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.  The decision of when will ultimately be yours in terms of how much you are bothered by these issues.

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

Eighteen and Older -Best time for Breast Reduction

From your description you sound like a reasonable candidate for breast surgery but an exam would be important to see if this is the case. See the below link regarding  how to find the best Plastic Surgeon.

Candidates for Breast Reduction surgery are women who wish to have smaller breasts to achieve a more proportional appearance or to alleviate physical discomfort.  Breast reduction can correct symptoms from excessively large, heavy breasts that may cause the inability to do certain exercises, or create back, shoulder and neck pain, poor posture, bra-strap shoulder indentations and chafing or rashes under the breasts.  Women experiencing these discomforts may benefit from Breast Reduction, also called Reduction Mammoplasty.  Furthermore, large breasts may interfere with normal daily activities or exercise and will be more comfortable when reduced.  Women who feel that their excessive breast size decreases a sense of attractiveness and self confidence, or results in unwanted attention are also candidates.
Intended Result
Also known as reduction mammoplasty, Breast Reduction is an operation intended to reduce the size of a woman’s breasts and improve their shape and position. Frequently, the areola (dark skin around the nipple) is also made smaller.  Functional symptoms (medical problems) caused by excessive breast weight may be relieved or improved by this operation.  Mammoplasty patients will experience a more attractive contour and smaller breast size, freedom from health problems associated with excessively large breasts and improved self image. There is an extremely high rate of patient satisfaction from this surgery. They are some of the happiest group of patients I have in my practice.
Procedure Description
Breast Reduction is performed as an outpatient procedure and the vast majority of our patients tell us that there was far less discomfort in the early recovery period than was anticipated. In most cases I use a minimal incision surgery using a “vertical” or “lollipop” scar technique this method has been used in Brazil and France for many years but is performed by a minority of Plastic Surgeons in this country.  The benefits include: approximately fifty percent less scarring, a narrower breast, better forward projection and shape, longer lasting improvement, shorter surgery time and less complications. In general, we have stopped using the older traditional “anchor” or inverted “T” incisions as these provide inferior results.  The procedure is done under general anesthesia on an out-patient basis or in the hospital it there are additional medical conditions.
Liposuction may be used during the procedure to reduce the size of the breast in selected patients. Liposuction alone has the least number and size of scars but has the greatest limitations in shaping and reducing the breast. Liposuction may be combined with the vertical method to give an optimal shape to your breasts. Adjustments of the Nipple and/or Areola can also be done at the same time.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Breast reduction in teens

If your breasts are uncomfortable and keeping from a lifestyle that you enjoy then I would consider you a good candidate.  If you are generally happy with your shape a wonderful option to minimize scarring is "scarless breast reduction".  This involves liposuction without skin removal or reshaping to give you a smaller version of your current breast.  

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 175 reviews

Teen Breast Reduction

Over the years I have done quite a few teen breast reductions. Two things that I require before doing the surgery is assurance that your bra size has not changed in at least 12 months, and secondly I require a parent (even though legally you can direct your own health care) to assure me they feel you are mature enough to make this life changing decision. I have never seen a young patient regret her decision.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Scarless breast reduction for teens

Can't thing of a better treason to look into Scarless reduction (liposuction only), given your age and requirements. it is certainly not ideal but at this age may be a wonderful alternative. good luck

Sherwood Baxt, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Best time for teen breast reduction

We find the best time for breast reduction is the summer after your senior year and before you go off to college. This is a good transition where friends are less aware. You can look on the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website for surgeons in your area. Best of luck, Peter Johnson, MD

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Teen Breast Reduction?

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.

Make sure you are  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 1,488 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.