Breast Reduction in Teenagers
By Nicholas Bastidas, MD on 06/18/2020 7:04 PM
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Breast Reduction in Teens: What to Consider & Questions to Ask
Breast Reduction in New York and Long Island
Macromastia is the condition of having large breasts. The truth is, while some teenagers or adults wish for larger breasts — and may even get surgery to get them — they can cause extreme physical and emotional discomfort for others. Here are some of the common reasons a teenager might want a breast reduction:
- Neck and/or shoulder pain
- Skin irritation and sores
- Low self-esteem
- Mental health struggles
- Undesired attention
- Difficulty finding clothes and/or bras that fit
Often, teenagers can feel uncomfortable discussing breast reduction whether it’s with their parents or a doctor. Some parents think waiting is the key; that the teen will “grow into” her breasts or become comfortable with them, but there is no real benefit to waiting. You may have tried visiting a chiropractor to help with the backpain and/or going to therapy to help with self-esteem and other mental hurdles, but it usually doesn’t resolve the issue. As you’re seeking information about a breast reduction, keep an open mind and learn as much as possible.
The truth is, breast reduction surgery is very common and teen breast reduction is becoming more common. In 2019, a study published in an issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery — the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons — determined that breast reduction surgery is safe and effective, and noted that complications are minor and often do not outweigh the benefits.
After breast reduction surgery, patients can improve or even eliminate back and shoulder pain, irritation from bras and improper fit, and spinal curvature. Often, breast reduction surgery can improve a patient’s confidence, self-esteem, their ability to find clothes that fit, and even raise their desire and ability to exercise.
How do you Know if Breast Reduction Surgery is Right for Your Teen?
Breast reduction surgery is designed to create a chest size that’s more fitting to the patient’s body. It is one of the only cosmetic procedures that insurance companies are willing to cover, mainly because it has so many benefits for the patient.
There is no single factor or consideration that will determine if breast reduction surgery is right for your teenager. However, speaking with a doctor so you and your teenager can understand the risks (although there are very few) associated with breast reduction surgery and what the recovery looks like.
Here are some questions you or your teenager can ask the doctor during the consultation:
- How often do you perform breast reduction surgery? The more experience they have, the better.
- Am I a good candidate for a breast reduction? You’ll want to set some realistic expectations and have a breast exam to discuss size and shape.
- What kind of breast reduction is right for me? There are different techniques for the surgery and your doctor should have a plan based on your body.
- Are there some before and after photos I can see from previous patients? This will help you see your doctor’s work and if it looks natural.
- What happens during the surgery? This will help you learn how to prep for the procedure and what you’ll need for recovery.
- What is the recovery process like? Get an idea for what you can and cannot do during this time and how to care for your body.
- What are the possible complications? They will be different for everyone, but this may help you weigh your decision.
- What should I expect in the future? Now’s the time to discuss aging, pregnancy, and general life after surgery.
All of these questions in addition to meeting the doctor and tapping into your intuition will help you choose the right doctor if surgery is right for you. Here are some other things to consider when thinking about teen breast reduction surgery:
- Breasts may continue to grow after surgery depending on your age and body
- If the large breasts are linked to obesity, there could be additional complications with recovery
- Breast feeding may not be an option for those who have breast reduction surgery (but it is possible)
- Consider the timing of the surgery and the recovery to make it easiest on your teen, which may mean having it done in the summer or before heading to college
You and your teen will know how serious their condition is and how it will affect their life once the surgery is complete and can make an educated decision based on that and the conversations with the doctor.
For more information on breast reduction in teens, feel free to contact us today.
Dr. Bastidas routinely performs breast reduction in teens in both the NYC and Long Island areas.
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