American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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Sierra
one year ago
Answered

Breast Reduction at a Young Age

I am 17 years old and I have had big breast since I was 14. Over the years, my back and neck pain has gotten worse. Not only have I experienced physical pain, but emotional as well. If I were to get a breast reduction would I also be able to have my nipples reconstructed? Or is that a completely different surgery? Does it cost more to get both done and will my insurance pay for it?

Procedure: Breast Reduction
Type: Question

Replies 6

Debra Johnson
ASPS Surgeon
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Ideally, breast reduction is performed after a woman has completed childbearing. Pregnancy and breast feeding can change the volume and shape of the breast. Breast reduction can make it harder for a woman to successfully breastfeed, due to scar tissue within the breast and the rearrangement of the tissues. That being said, some younger women just can't take it, and desire to have their breasts smaller for both physical and emotional reasons. If your breasts have stopped growing, your weight is stable, and your overall health is good, you should be able to have a breast reduction. You will need your parents' consent, since you are not yet an adult. I warn younger women that breasts may change over time, depending on childbearing, breastfeeding, weight, etc. You may in the future desire additional breast surgery, if your breasts have a cosmetic appearance you don't like. Certainly the areolar diameter is reduced with reduction. Inverted nipples can be corrected at the same time.

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Tracy McCall
ASPS Surgeon

Talk to your parents. You can ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a plastic surgeon. You should write down your questions. The consultation should answer most of them. A good history and physical examination of your actual body will help the surgeon give you advice on the procedure. That way you can determine if it is the right thing to do now. The nipples get moved during the procedure.

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Nirmal Nathan
ASPS Surgeon
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Dear Sierra,

Thank you for your question. Based on what you are describing insurance should cover the surgery. Depending on your insurance plan you need to see a surgeon who takes your insurance and the consultation will be submitted to your plan for authorization.

While you are on the younger range for a reduction, if you are experiencing constant severe pain surgery may be justified. Nipple reconstruction is performed at the same time and it is part of the breast reduction procedure.

Hope this helps,

Nirmal R. Nathan, M.D.

Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery

Member, American Society of Plastic Surgeons

The Nathan Clinic, Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics

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Richard Greco
ASPS Surgeon
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Sierra,

You sound like a very good candidate to consider a breast reduction. It is hard to tell you what the best option is for you with out an examination.. I would suggest you visit a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with you parents. Most breast reduction surgery keeps your nipple/areolar complex alive. If you are truely a correct patient for this operation - insurance should cover it. Good Luck!

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Nelson Castillo

Thank you for sharing your question and I am sorry to hear of your multiple neck and back symptoms. I would discuss your concerns with your surgeon and PCP to identify conservative treatment options for now such as physical therapy, weight loss, and massage/chiropractor work and should these not make any improvement after 6 months then pursue surgical intervention. Hope this helps.

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Christine Stiles
ASPS Surgeon
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Breast reduction surgery includes decreasing the size of the breast and reducing and lifting the areola complex. This a great procedure for young women with large breasts. Having the procedure done at a young age prevents the development of back, neck and shoulder pain and a sedentary lifestyle.

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