Age 18, 5ft5, 170lbs with thyroid related weight gain: Should I Get a Breast Reduction?

Hello, I'm eighteen years old, 5'5, 170 pounds(thyroid-related weight gain, bra size was VERY close to my current bra size before I gained the weight). I'm a 36DDD and considering a breast reduction...For my reasoning to get this surgery, I get rashes underneath my breasts and get upper back/shoulder pain that sometimes, a heating pad or Aspirin won't help. I am enrolled to do physical therapy for the pain in my back and shoulders...I'm open to anyone's opinions about this.

Doctor Answers 10

Breast Reduction Surgery

It sounds like you may be an excellent candidate for breast reduction surgery. You should seek a consultation with a plastic surgeon in your area who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to discuss this in more detail. He or she will be able to examine you and discuss the options that are best for you. This operation is one that most patients find very satisfying. Good luck to you.

Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
3.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Breast Reduction Candidate?

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.

Based on your description you may be an excellent candidate for breast reduction surgery. It is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform. 

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 understand that further surgery may be necessary in the future (for example if the breasts were to grow in size again).

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, and the attached link, helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,486 reviews

Breast reduction candidate

It sounds like you can really benefit from a breast reduction operation, but that is a personal decision for you to decide.  In general, most patients are extremely happy with the results of the surgery.  Good luck.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Should I Get a Breast Reduction?

Dear wvgirl94. The symptoms you describe are common symptoms reported by women seeking a breast reduction. Furthermore, many insurance companies have policies that cover this procedure. Criteria for coverage may involve your physician submitting photographs documenting the size of your breast, a minimum volume of breast tissue that will need to be removed, as well as a detailed examination of your medical history and the specific symptoms you suffer from. First check what is covered by your insurance. Then seek consultation with an ASAPS (American Society for the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) plastic surgeon. The plastic surgeon will be able to determine if a breast reduction is the right procedure for you.

Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Should I Get a Breast Reduction?

Thank you for your question and your detailed description of your problems.  With your symptoms, you obviously can benefit from a breast reduction.  But you also need to bring your weight under control and if this is thyroid related it will be easier to control once your thyroid hormone level is adjusted.  Hopefully you are under the care of an experienced Board-Certified plastic surgeon with specific expertise in breast reduction who can show you satisfactory sample photos and guide you in the right direction.

Ruben B. Abrams, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Most breast reduction patients are after functional improvement.

The symptoms and signs you are complaining of are consistent with a positive outcome from breast reduction. Provided you're in good health you seem to be an excellent candidate for the procedure.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

New technique for breast reduction that maintains breast feeding

Breast reduction is required when patients have symptoms from large breasts such as neck, back and shoulder pain or rashes.  Since you are young, you are an excellent candidate for a new technique called The Ultimate Breast Reduction.  This technique avoids the ugly vertical scars of the boat anchor shaped incisions (developed in 1956), reshapes your breast tissue creating upper pole fullness, elevates them higher on the chest wall and more medial to increase your cleavage.  At the same time, the breasts are reduced to the size you desire.  The results are long lasting because the weight of the breast is transferred to the underlying muscle.  This technique also maintains nipple sensation and the ability to breast feed, which is important for someone who is 18 years old. 


Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.



Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 222 reviews

Candidate for a breast reduction

From your description you would be a good candidate for a breast reduction.  Your next step is to be examined by a plastic surgeon.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Be sure breasts have stopped growing before breast reduction.


It sounds like you will be an ideal candidate for breast reduction.  And if your breasts have not grown for a year or two, you can do it soon.  Weight is not an issue.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast reduction candidate

First, I recommend that you get your endocrinological issues under control because it is possible that, with proper management, you could lose the weight.  Rashes, back and shoulder pain, etc. are all indications for breast reduction.  Physical therapy will not be a viable long term solution.  You can certainly investigate breast reduction at this time.  Some insurance companies impose requirements for documented medical management, including PT, so this may be a step along a process.  See a board certified plastic surgeon in your area who is familiar with the insurance criteria and can advise you.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 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.