Is is Common for 18 Year Olds to Get Breast Reduction Surgery?

Q:  I’m interested in having breast reduction surgery. I’m 5’4, about 130 lbs, 18 years old, and wear a size 32DD. I have never been pregnant and do not nurse. No matter how thin I am, my breasts do not seem to shrink and I find it very painful to exercise. I am an avid runner and like to stay in shape. I am very unhappy with my breasts because they seem to, well.. aim down. My nipples are very large and my skin is stretched. I want to be an A, I like the look simplicity. Am I a common patient?

A: There are times when breast reduction surgery is appropriate at your age.  By law, you are old enough to make your own healthcare decisions and have likely completed puberty.  When large breasts cause pain, psychological discomfort or interfere in daily activity (including exercise), sometimes a breast reduction can give significant relief.  Some things that warrant serious consideration are scarring, future pregnancy and future breastfeeding.  Breast reduction surgery does create scars on the breasts.  For many women this is a small price to pay for the relief associated with the surgery, but it definitely needs careful consideration.  I definitely recommend looking at before and after photos.  You should also consider the potential effect of pregnancy on your new, perky breasts.  The hormones associated with pregnancy often lead to temporary enlargement of the breast tissue and many women complain about sagging breasts after the pregnancy is over.  Some women also find they are unable to breast feed after having breast reduction surgery.  Having said that, it is rare for me to meet a woman who regrets having a breast reduction.  After doing internet research, please seek out a board certified plastic surgeon for a consultation.  Together, you can determine if you are a good candidate for a breast reduction.