Is Breast Reduction Appropriate For Teens?

Posted on February 28, 2017 by: Dr. Ronald DeMars

Is Breast Reduction Appropriate For Teens?

Women, younger and older, seek a Breast Reduction in Portland from Dr. DeMars for a number of reasons. The most common are physically related symptoms:

  • Chronic aching pain in the neck, shoulders and upper back
  • Painful shoulder grooves from bra straps
  • Breast pain when exercising

Other reasons given are social:

  • Inappropriate attention
  • Expenses in obtaining special bras
  • Difficulty finding attractive clothing
  • Feeling like they look heavy and overweight

Most patients say they note a relief of the physical symptoms within a few days of surgery and the overall satisfaction with the Breast Reduction operation is extremely high. Plastic surgeons with experience doing Breast Reduction make the same comment, that these are among the happiest patients in their practice. One of the most frequent statements women make when recovered from their Breast Reduction is wishing they had not waited so long to do the surgery and achieve the comfort and other benefits afforded them by the procedure.

Dr. DeMars, a Portland plastic surgeon, sees younger women with breast hypertrophy, or overly enlarged breasts, with the same symptoms but a different category of questions that revolve around having children and it is not unusual for young women in their late teens to seek consultation for the surgery. The precautions he discusses with them are a bit different than with an older patient who has had her family, even though the complaints are the same.

It is important for the older teen to be sure her breast development is stable and she is not still seeing breast growth. For the majority of teenagers this development stops in the 15th to 18th year. Other important discussions center on the function and sexuality of the breast. After a breast reduction the breast feeding ability may be limited or absent and although it is not frequent, some patients lose their sexual sensitivity in one or both nipples. Finally, it is important for young women to understand the surgical scars. They usually fade but never totally disappear and with the increased sensitivity teenagers can have regarding body image this may be an important consideration.

Nevertheless, for many young women and teenagers with symptomatic breast enlargement, they decide the positive features including a lifetime of improved comfort and physical activity outweigh the surgery’s limitations and after appropriate counseling they proceed with their Breast Reduction procedure.