Womens Health

Study: Breast Reduction May be OK for Some Younger Patients

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Breast reduction is a common surgical solution from adult women suffering from overly large breasts. This procedure is not as common in adolescents, but a recent study by the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) shows that the procedure may offer the same medical and psychological benefits to these patients as to adult women, and perhaps to a greater degree.

Teens with large breasts can experience significant shoulder, neck, and back pain. They may have trouble participating in sports or finding clothing that fits properly. In the most severe cases, overly large breasts can cause difficulty breathing and spinal curvature. In addition to these health concerns, they can also cause social issues.

John Girotto, M.D. says "These are not insignificant problems for these young women to endure." The URMC paper shows that adolescents may benefit from this procedure, which has previously been recommended mainly for adult women. "Why should we make them wait 20 years to relieve their physical and emotional pain?” says Dr. Girotto.

The study examined the results of 76 breast reduction surgeries on patients under the age of 18. The average patient was 16 with DDD breasts. Doctors who commented on the study said that teenage patients and their parents should realize that the surgical risks are the same as they are for adults. Adolescents may also need revision surgery as they continue to develop.

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