Exactly how young is too young for breast reduction? Is the 14-year-old girl with breasts so large that she cannot cross her arms over her chest able to pursue surgical correction? What about the 15-year-old being teased by her peers about her large breasts?
There is not an exact age at which a teenager becomes eligible for breast reduction; it truly depends on the individual patient. However, there are general guidelines that plastic surgeons adhere to when evaluating candidates.
Dr. Erwin Bulan, a trusted breast surgeon in Northern New Jersey, discusses some of those factors here.
Fully Developed Breasts
Teenagers must postpone surgery until their breasts have completely developed, to prevent the possibility that the surgical results are reversed by a later growth spurt. The exact age at which the breasts stop developing can vary from the late teen years to the early 20s, based on the specific individual.
Younger breast reduction candidates need to be psychologically mature enough for surgery. Having breast reduction requires understanding and accepting the risk of possible complications. Patients also need to be able to follow their surgeon’s instructions closely. And, they must maintain realistic expectations of the surgical results. Each candidate is carefully screened to ensure she is mature enough to undergo elective surgery and understand the magnitude of her decisions.
Acknowledge the Need for Additional Surgery
Speaking of possible risks, teenagers face the possibility that their breasts will continue to grow after surgery. Surgery cannot prevent the breasts from growing. And at a certain point, the breasts may grow so large that they require additional reduction surgery in the future. This is discussed during every breast reduction consultation, especially those for younger patients.
Insurance Company Requirements
To be eligible for reimbursement, many insurance companies require patients to be 18 years of age at the time of surgery. This is in addition to other specific requirements, including documentation of physical symptoms, breast size and amount of tissue removed during surgery.
Speak to Our Breast Reduction Surgeon
If you or your child experiences physical or psychological discomfort due to oversized breasts, surgery can give you significant relief. To learn more about the surgery and determine whether it is suitable for you, please call (973) 467-9744 or email Dr. Bulan’s office today.