Teenage Breast Reduction: A Parent’s Guide
Does your teen have overly large breasts? Do they cause discomfort, pain, embarrassment and other problems for your child? Breast reduction might be the solution. Many parents worry about exploring the option of surgery for their child, but in many cases, breast reduction surgery can alleviate physical and emotional pain and give teens with macromastia (or overly large breasts) a better quality life. If your teen is struggling with very large breasts, come see Dr. Sato and discuss options.
The Negative Impact of Large Breasts
Large breasts can take their toll on women of any age, but can be especially traumatic to teens. One study found that macromastia has a negative impact on quality of life, self-esteem, physical health and eating behaviors (including an increased risk for anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders) in teens. Many teens with macromastia are overweight (about two-thirds), but breast size is unlikely to dramatically decrease, even with weight loss, and large breasts can make it difficult to be physically active.
What’s the Surgery Like?
If you and your teen decide to pursue breast reduction, you’ll begin the process with a consultation with Dr. Sato. Being a female surgeon, Dr. Sato personally understands the anxiety teenage girls face when talking about their breasts and is empathetic and compassionate throughout the entire process. After a thorough examination is completed, Dr. Sato will offer some recommendations.
With teens, breast reduction can be tricky. The breasts need to be fully developed before surgery to minimize the possibility of additional growth and future surgeries (even if fully developed, there is still the possibility of having continued breast growth or increase in size, which is something patients must be aware of). Many teens are ready for surgery around 17 or 18.
The surgery itself involves removing excess tissue, reshaping the breasts, and repositioning the nipple areola complex. It usually takes about 2-6 hours (dependent on the size of the breasts, technique used, and the goals for surgery).
How Many Teens Have Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction is most common for women in their 40s, but teens certainly do have the procedure and it is becoming much more common. Recently, actress Ariel Winter (age 17) shared her story of breast reduction surgery. After the procedure she said, “It’s something that I did to better my life and better my health, and I think that can benefit a lot of young girls. I have felt happier with myself than I ever have.”
If your teen is struggling with the pain, discomfort, and embarrassment that can be associated with large breasts, come see Dr. Sato and learn more about your options.