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Teen Breast Reduction

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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

If your teenager is interested in breast reduction surgery, she’s probably not the only one in the family feeling some anguish. You have a sense of how she suffers with overly large breasts, plus you have your own concerns at the thought of elective surgery for your girl.

What are the factors to consider?

First and perhaps easiest to evaluate are the physical factors. It’s not unusual for even young women with large breasts to complain about back pain, neck pain, skin rashes and shoulder grooves from bra straps that cut into skin. Unless your daughter is overweight, there’s not much she can do to alleviate these symptoms, and they will get worse over time.

If your daughter is at or near her normal weight, and especially if large breasts don’t run in your family, she might be experiencing what’s called juvenile or virginal hypertrophy. That’s when breasts undergo rapid and sometimes extreme growth (often asymmetry develops also).

Take time to consider the psychological factors as well. It is very common for young women with oversized breasts to feel embarrassed and suffer relentless teasing, staring and sometimes worse. Even if you also have large breasts and managed to deal with the added stress, remember your daughter’s ability to handle the pressure may not be the same as yours, and the problems she’s having may be more extreme.

Evaluate your daughter’s physical and emotional maturity levels. If she is at least 16 years old, preferably a couple years older, she has probably stopped growing and may be a reasonable candidate for breast reduction. Think about whether she’s prone to gaining and losing weight—good surgical results are lasting when weight is stable. You’ll also want to know that she’s considering the procedure for functional reasons first, aesthetic reasons second.

Other factors that may influence you to think breast reduction is not an unreasonable choice for your daughter are her lifestyle, activities and plans. Is she athletically inclined but held back from throwing herself into a sport due to her breasts? Is she headed for college and wanting to gain physical comfort and psychological confidence for her new life?

Just as there may be reasons to consider supporting your daughter’s plastic surgery idea, there are factors that may influence you to counsel her to wait. One obvious reason to delay is if she’s not finished growing. Unless she has an extreme case of juvenile hypertrophy, waiting until her breasts are mature is advisable. As mentioned, her weight should be fairly stable as well.

Take an objective look at your daughter’s overall mental health picture. If she’s depressed or unhappy with her life in general—not just her breasts—it would be a good idea to seek counseling for her before considering a cosmetic procedure.

Finally, there’s breastfeeding to think about. Many women are able to breastfeed after breast reduction, but there’s no guarantee. If breastfeeding is something your daughter has her heart set on, she may want to wait to have surgery until she has children and raises them through their early years.

Breast reduction surgery for teens is not common, but it is a valid option for the right young woman. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, around 3,000 U.S. patients aged 18 and younger elected the procedure in 2009.



Add a Comment7 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Even Sally Field complained about her tits on hey landlord. Every 30 seconds she kept saying "my tits'. Maybe she was getting squished

November 18, 2014 - 3:54pm
EmpowHER Guest

My mother in law was glad that I have larger breasts than her and the rest of the in laws. She doesn't like large breasts either but was glad that I have large. She made light of it to around the rest of the in laws and they all agreed with her.

November 18, 2014 - 3:51pm
EmpowHER Guest

I had a bosom reduction in my early twenties after being a size 44 since Grade School. Unfortunately, my bosom grew back after a while back to 38, which I started out with back during childhood. Marcy

November 17, 2014 - 9:37pm

That's great! I'm very happy for you!
Not to sound like a broken record...but if you wouldn't mind sharing your story, I would love to interview you! Nothing is as inspiring to a woman suffering as hearing the experience of someone she can identify with.
Email me if you're interested. Thanks!

July 20, 2011 - 1:59pm

I used to have 34DD’s, it was really difficult having such large breasts since I am also a very petite woman. I constantly get unwanted attention and I couldn’t wear any of the cute little clothes that I wanted without looking like a mess… and all I wanted was to be a “sexy, classy WOMAN” not an awkwardly large breasted woman. I got my Breast Reduction in FL! I’ve never been more self confident and pleased then I am now! Now summer is my favorite season!

July 20, 2011 - 5:41am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi, my name is Hannah and I'm 17-years-old with 34DDD breasts. My mother and I have followed suggestions you've written before even reading this. I must say that this is a very helpful and instructive article. Together, we've decided to opt for surgery for myself because of my: back problems, headaches, skin rashes, grooves in skin where the bra applies pressure and self-image. I am of a healthy weight for my height and I eat well and exercise, so we thought this would be the best option. I STRONGLY encourage any young ladies to seek help if they have any of the pains that I have had. (Please keep in mind that there will be unsightly scarring that will remain red and possibly raised for up to a year. The scars themselves will always remain and will be noticeable because a young woman's skin is much more elastic than an older woman's so the elasticity of the skin is constantly pulling at the scar thus the scar must always be reforming itself.) Thank you. (:

June 27, 2011 - 10:51am
(reply to Anonymous)

Hi Hannah:

Thank you so much for your post. I think I may have written in the original article that I've spoken with many breast reduction patients over the years and they are, every one of them, thrilled with the results of their surgery. They talk about pain relief, emotional relief and a general sense of a new lease on life from breast reduction.

Have you had the procedure yet? I would be very interested in interviewing you for EmpowHer if you're willing. I'd love to ask you questions and have you respond--we could do this via email--then format the information into a column. I could keep your last name and town out of it.

Any chance you'd like to do this?

I am glad you are so happy with your decision. It definitely sounds like the right one for you. And you're lucky to have such a supportive mom.

All the best!


June 27, 2011 - 2:56pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.