Is a breast reduction my only option?

I am an 18 year old college freshman and I hate my breasts. My areolas are enormous and my nipples point straight down. They are very heavy. I have a wide back so I wear a 40B. What can I do about their appearance?

Doctor Answers 9

Is a breast reduction my only option?

As far as your age, height (?), weight (?), and bra size, it certainly sounds like you could benefit greatly. I recently performed a breast reduction on an 18 year old. It's probably the most rewarding breast surgery that I perform. The patients are so grateful. You are young and the situation will only get worse for you. The other questions you need to ask, ( which I am sure your mom has) is "Will my beasts continue to grow? What happens when I have kids? How big will my breasts get? Will I be able to breast feed? ". These are all questions I like to address with the patient and her mom or parents. It's usually the mom who accompanies young women considering this surgery. Insurance companies require lots and lots of documentation in order for them to even consider paying for a breast reduction. Some insurance companies actually exclude breast reduction as a covered procedure. If it's a covered procedure then pre-op photos need to be submitted. The patient must have had a prior history of a year's worth of conservative therapy by their private doctor, frequentky insurance companies will require that you have also established a medical record with either an orthopedic surgeon or chiropractor documenting your sympoms and most important is that a minimum of 500 grams must be removed at the time of surgery. This simply means that unless you have enough tissue they will not even consider it. A letter from an insurance company that it's a covered procedure does not necessarily mean that they will pay for it. Depending on an insurance company to pay for your breast reduction is like spinning the roulette wheel. Always seek out the opinion of a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery with years of experience in cosmetic breast surgery. Furthermore request to see before and after photos of previous patients by that doctor....not a clinic or surgery center. Do your homework......research and verify the doctor's credentials. Have they had problems with the Board of Medicine, disciplinary or otherwise. Any law suits? How about the center, clinic or facility? Are they accredited by a national organization or do they just have State approval. Understand that at the current time, there are three nationally recognized organizations responsible for the highest levels of patient safety, AAAASF, AAACH and JCHO. You owe it to yourself to position yourself for the best possible results but under the most stringent safety regulations, If you have kids, even more so. How about anesthesia? Will you have a medical doctor certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology or a certified nurse anesthetist (CRNA)? Understand that there is no substitute for research. Cosmetic surgery, no matter how simple it may be to the patients, are invasive procedures and as such carry certain risks and complications. In our office, as in others, we use TouchMD which is a web based program in which patients have the ability to load their picture unto the program. The surgen can actually draw on the picture to show a potential patient where the incisions would be located and how the procedure is to be realized. It's all done to comply with HIPPA which is the federal law that protects the patient's medical information. Look them up. Good luck. Dr. PG  

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 233 reviews

Options for Saggy, Heavy Breasts

From your description, it seems that you would benefit from a breast reduction to decrease the weight of your breasts.  As part of every breast reduction, the breast is lifted to correct sagging, and reshape to create a smaller, upright, more youthful looking breast.  This would be physically more comfortable when exercising and allow you to feel better in different types of clothing.  Also, as part of the surgery, the areole are reduced in size down to a youthful size and shape.  Your breast size can be reduced to whatever size you desire and what seems to fit your overall physique and lifestyle best.  This surgery is usually performed as an outpatient so your would recuperate at home.  Seek out a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who had experience with this type of breast surgery.

Richard G. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Is a breast reduction my only option?

Unfortunately, there are very few options is a well fitting bra doesn't help. . A breast reduction surgery might be advisable to prevent future medical complications like back pain associated with your large breasts.

Charles Nduka, MD
London Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Unhappy with breasts

I am sorry to hear that you are happy with your breasts at such a young age.  Unfortunately, there is minimal that can be done to breast size, shape or appearance that doesn't involve surgery.  Areolas can be reduced & repositioned onto the front of the breast and breast tissue can be removed to make them smaller & less heavy.  Seek out a consultation with a nearby plastic surgeon for an opinion of your exact options.  All the best Kim

Kim Taylor, FRACS
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Photos for advices

Thanks for the question. My advice for you is to send your photos to us to give you the advices you need and want. Kind regards,Dr. Emmanuel Mallol.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 270 reviews

Is a breast reduction my only option?

Breast reduction can accomplish several things in one procedure. The surgeon can reduce the size of the breasts, make them symmetrical (same size and shape) and complete a lift. By including a lift with the procedure, your surgeon can also assure correct nipple placement and appropriate areolar size. When you reduce the size of the breast tissue, you can eliminate some of the medical complications frequently experienced by women with large breasts, reduce sleeping difficulties, increase your likelihood of finding clothing that fits and improve self image. Ultimately the size you choose to reduce your breast to, is up to you and your surgeon. However, if you are removing enough breast tissue to decrease your cup size several sizes, you should notice a significant difference. Thanks for the question and good luck!

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Breast reduction?

It is impossible to say without photos and/or an in person consultation, but from what you are describing you would likely benefit from either a breast reduction or a breast lift. There are many things to take into consideration when thinking about having surgery, especially at your age. I would recommend looking at some plastic surgeons websites in your area and then making an appointment for an in person consult to talk about considerations and options. It can be intimidating to talk about a part of your body that you don't like, but if you do some research online you should be able to find someone that puts you at ease during this process. Best wishes, Dr. Meghan Nadeau, Seattle, WA

Meghan Nadeau, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Is a breast reduction my only option?

Without posting your breasts photos only can guess yu need a Breast Reduction/Lift surgery. Seek in person opinions from boarded PSs.

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

Is Breast Reduction My Only Option?

It would be very helpful if you would send photographs of your breasts from multi different directions.  That being said, based on the information you have provided, your age, the size of your areola, and the fact that your nipples point down, the logical assumption would be that you have tuberous breasts.
There is a great deal of literature about tuberous breasts on the internet, and if in fact your breasts do match internet pictures of tuberous breasts, then the treatment of choice would either be a breast reduction/lift/augmentation or tissue expansion followed by a breast reduction/lift/augmentation.
I strongly suggest you seek out consultations with three Board Certified plastic surgeons in the Palm Beach area.  The purpose in the consultations is to gain a diagnosis of exactly what breast problems you have and see which one of the plastic surgeons you consult gives you the best answer for your situation.

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.