Teen Breast Reduction: What do Parents Need to Know

Overly large breasts aren’t just a cosmetic issue. For many women, they cause back pain, rashes and skin irritation, an inability to exercise, difficulties with clothing fit and coverage and self-confidence issues. This can be especially problematic during the teen years, as many teens are already self-conscious of their bodies. If you have a teen with macromastia (large breasts), come see Dr. Hendrick at the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery. He can explain your options and help you and your teen determine if breast reduction is the right choice.

What Impact Do Large Breasts Have on Teens?

Overly large breasts can have a negative impact on teens. One study found that macromastia took a negative toll on self-esteem, physical symptoms, health related quality of life and even the likelihood of developing an eating disorder. Some teens handle their large breasts well, but for others, the discomfort, pain and emotional struggle make breast reduction a good option. This is a complex decision that your teen will need to make with help and guidance from parents, doctors and others.

Actress Ariel Winter explains her struggle with large breasts and her journey to breast reduction in a recent article on “I went to a swimsuit store with my cousin a few months ago and couldn’t find a bathing suit that fit me. I really felt bad about myself. I didn’t feel happy… It was so painful. I had a lot of back problems. I really couldn’t stand up straight for a long period of time.” She opted to get the surgery and couldn’t be happier. “It’s something that I did to better my life and better my health and I think that that can benefit a lot of young girls. I have felt more happy with myself than I ever have… You feel like a new person. You feel like this is how I was supposed to be.”

Issues for Teens Considering Breast Reduction

The decision to have teen breast reduction surgery isn’t for everyone and those teens that do decide to explore the surgery option may come across a few hurdles including:

  • The Need to Wait: Breasts can reach a large size before a patient finishes puberty. We generally recommend that teens wait until the breasts have finished growing before surgery. Getting breast reduction too soon can create the need for a subsequent surgery down the road if the breasts continue to grow. Many insurance companies require teens to wait and try other treatment options before they’ll pay for breast reduction surgery.
  • Weight: Overly large breasts are more common in girls that are overweight or obese. Weight loss is often recommended as a first line treatment, but breast size rarely decreases substantially, even with weight loss. Large breasts can also make exercise difficult, making it harder to lose weight. Teens that are overweight may be at an increased risk of complications from surgery.

The best way to find out if your teen is ready for breast reduction surgery is to come and talk with Dr. Hendrick. He is very understanding of the embarrassment and discomfort teens may face when discussing this topic and will be sensitive to your teen during your consultation. Call us today!