Breast Reduction in Young Adolescents

More and more adolescent girls are consulting with Dr. McGovern in regard to reducing the size of their excessively large breasts.

They have all been wanting to make an appointment to discuss this problem for ages, but have felt self-conscious about doing so.

Generally, it is not until they have been in contact with another young girl that has been through this surgery, that they are brave enough to broach this subject with a  doctor.

Each and everyone talks to Dr. McGovern about the physical and psychosocial issues they are having to deal with daily because of their large breasts

These girls range from 14 to 18 years of age when they present, but they have usually been suffering these problems since 9 or 10 years of age.

Their bra size can vary from an E Cup to a J Cup.

What causes this problem of excessively large breasts in a young girl?

Known as macromastia, the exact cause of overly large breasts is not known.

In some cases it is genetic and large breasts are a family trait.

In some cases, it is due to excessive weight, but in general, this is not the case.

It is a misconception that girls with excessively large breasts are overweight.

Most of the teenage girls that we see with macromastia are of normal weight and are often underweight in an attempt to try to reduce their breast size.

Often these girls look overweight because of the size of their breasts.

This is one of the first things that make young girls happy after breast reduction surgery – they can wear clothes that fit, that suit their age, and that show off their otherwise tiny figures!

The physical issues associated with extra-large breasts are typically:

  • Back, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Headaches
  • Bra-strap furrowing
  • Rashes under the breasts
  • Considerable asymmetry is common, which can be impossible to hide.
  • Difficulty exercising.
  • Impaired sleep.
  • Poor posture acquired through trying to hide their breasts.

The emotional issues that young girls face are numerous and include, but are not limited to:

  • Embarrassment, lack of self-esteem, and confidence as it is impossible to hide large breasts. This is also exacerbated by the unwanted attention these girls receive.
  • Inability to find clothes that fit their top-heavy body shape.
  • These girls look overweight due to their large breasts, even though they are not.
  • Ill-fitting clothes
  • Inability to find clothes suitable for someone their age. All tops in 14 + sizes are matronly and designed for older women.
  • If they can get a bra to fit them at all, they are the huge granny-type bras.
  • They grow out of their clothes so fast that parents complain they cannot keep up.
  • The above leads to constant tears as the girls never have anything to wear as tops and bras no longer fit them.
  • Swimwear and going to the beach is out of the question for all of the above reasons
  • The girls do not “fit in” with other girls and heckling and bullying can be a problem
  • They are often shunned by other young girls because of the constant unwanted male attention they attract,
  • The high rate of noticeable asymmetry and the impossibility to hide large breasts means that most girls are introverted and do not want to leave the house.
  • Depression and anxiety go hand in hand with very large breasts on a young girl.

Is breast reduction surgery beneficial for adolescent girls?

If the young girls are suffering from even half of the problems listed here and can find some normality after breast reduction surgery, there is no doubt that this surgery is not just beneficial but necessary for them to function normally within society once more.

These young girls never get to be – young girls.

Following breast reduction, they are able to immediately put all of their problems behind and start living the life of a normal teenager.

What size breasts are considered large enough for the procedure to not be considered a “cosmetic procedure”?

  • This will be determined by Dr. McGovern at consultation.
  • He will take into consideration the individual’s height and weight as well as the physical problems the girl is suffering.
  • Any psychological history will also be taken into consideration.
  • In most cases a “D” cup or “DD” would not fall within the realm of a medically necessary breast reduction, but as mentioned this will vary with individuals.

Is there any good reason to wait until 18 years of age before performing breast reduction?

  • Large breasts will continue to get larger with any hormone change and it is very likely that a secondary breast reduction may be necessary years down the track.
  • Weighing up the problems burdening the individual every day with this fact, most girls are happy to choose surgery and the possibility of a normal life – now, rather than waiting another few years of physical and psychological trauma.

What is the definition of a minor?

Section 17 of the Law Reform Act 1995 states that the age of the majority is 18 years. Therefore, any person under the age of 18 years old in Queensland is considered a minor.

Can I, as a parent give consent for my daughter to have a breast reduction?

From Legal Aid Qld: “ For children and young people under 18, a parent or guardian can agree to treatment on the child’s behalf (in most cases). However, there are some decisions about special medical procedures that can’t be decided by a parent or guardian and must be decided by the Family Court. You should get legal advice. “   

Does a breast reduction lift the nipple and breast position?

Yes. As well as reducing the size of the breast, breast reduction surgery lifts the breast mound and nipple areolar complex back into a more normal position.

The size of the areolar can also be reduced as part of this surgery.

Will the breast sag again after breast reduction?

The weight of the remaining breast tissue will, with time and gravity sag, as all breast tissue does.  The degree to which this occurs will depend on the elasticity of the skin and if the breasts are supported with a bra or similar, particularly whilst exercising.

Are there any problems with having a secondary breast reduction?

No. Provided the surgery was done well in the first place, there are no problems undergoing a secondary breast reduction later in life.

Our Breast Reduction Gallery page on our website has lots of before and after photos of women and girls of all ages following breast reduction surgery. This can give you a good idea of the scars inherent in this surgery, and the types of results that can be achieved.

Dr. McGovern performs a LOT of breast reductions.

If you would like more information, please give our experienced team a call. They are very happy to spend time discussing your concerns and how this surgery can help you.