When Your Teen Wants Breast Reduction: What the Research Is Saying

We all know the classic comedy Superbad, and undoubtedly can recall Seth and Evan’s dialogue on Cary Hutchins, the high schooler who got life-changing surgery:

“I heard she got breast-reduction surgery.”

“What? Making your breasts smaller? That’s like slapping God for giving you a gorgeous gift.”

“She had back problems, man. And it’s not just making them smaller. They completely reshape them. They make them more supple and symmetrical…and now that she can jog comfortably, she’s in the best shape she’s ever been in.”

If you and your daughter are discussing teen breast reduction, these few lines probably resonate with you. Breast reduction surgery is becoming one of the most common plastic surgery procedures in the U.S.

Women in society are becoming more and more aware of the physical and psychological benefits associated with the procedure. 

Just like Cary Hutchins, many are enjoying the increased freedom that comes with having small breasts. 

But how safe is it for teens to undergo breast reduction surgery? Is the procedure worthwhile? Read on to learn more.

What Is Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure that reduces the size and volume of the breasts. 

Why Consider Smaller Breasts?

It is well documented that overly large breasts significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. Well-endowed women often suffer severe back, shoulder, and neck injuries, as well as reduced mobility and comfort in daily activities. Unwanted attention can impact their 

Across the board, women—even young women— whose large breasts were a hindrance are delighted with the physical and mental health improvements associated with breast-reduction surgery. But many parents are often concerned with complications related to the procedure. 

What Does the Research Say About Adolescent Breast Reduction Surgery?

As the most common age group seeking breast reduction are women around 50 years of age, the research generally focuses on the benefits and risks of the procedure associated with older patients. As such, few studies have focused directly on the benefits of the surgery in teens and young women. 

However, the few studies that have targeted young women find overwhelming support for good outcomes in patients aged 12 to 21. These studies note a significant improvement in comfort levels, activity levels, and self-esteem after the reduction of problematically large breasts.  

It is essential to note that these studies do report the substantial risk of “minor complications” with the surgery – roughly one in three patients reported some complication. However, regardless of whether a patient experienced a “minor complication,” postoperative well-being improved significantly for all patients.

What “Minor Complications” Are Associated With Breast Reduction Surgery?

The most significant potential complication with breast reduction surgery for young patients is postoperative breast growth. 

Physical maturation differs between individuals, and if a teen breast reduction takes place too early, the breasts may continue to grow even after surgery. For most individuals, breasts stop growing at around 15, but it is also not unusual for breasts to continue to grow slightly and change shape up until age 18. 

While the phenomenon does not pose any danger, postoperative breast growth can be problematic in that a young patient may require a second procedure to gain the desired result. An essential step in deciding the correct timing for breast reduction surgery in a young patient is thorough doctor-patient preoperative counseling. 

Raised scarring was another minor complication some patients experienced. However, steroid injections or follow-up plastic surgery can treat this. 

Overwhelmingly, plastic surgeons, doctors, and psychologists agree that if performed for the right reasons, with the proper knowledge, and by an experienced and qualified surgeon, breast reduction surgery is perfectly safe and effective for teenagers. 

Teen Breast Reduction in Long Beach, CA

If you are a parent whose daughter is considering teen breast reduction or are reading this as a young woman considering breast reduction, please don’t hesitate to contact The Waltzman Institute at (562) 448-6100 or by arranging a consultation via our online form. 

In particular, our revolutionary 3D imaging software Crisalix can help you envision how the surgery will change your body and your lifestyle, and our experienced staff look forward to addressing any concerns or questions you may have regarding the procedure.