Teen and Adolescent Breast Surgery
One of the most common plastic surgery procedures among teens is breast surgery. Adolescence is a critical period of development both physically and mentally, and self-image can play a vital role in long-term happiness and well-being. Breast surgery should only be performed on teens who are physically and mentally mature and who can maintain realistic expectations.
Procedures commonly performed by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta plastic surgeons include:
- Breast asymmetry correction: A naturally occurring complication of breast augmentation or breast reconstruction surgery in which the breasts are not identical in shape and/or size. Breast asymmetry is remedied with the insertion of an implant or the excision of excess tissue during breast revision surgery.
- Breast reduction surgery: These procedures are often performed on patients who are uncomfortable with the size or shape of their breasts. Candidates for breast reduction procedures include those who experience neck or back pain, poor posture, interference with normal activities, trouble finding properly fitting clothes, or those who are self-conscious because of their large breasts. During a breast reduction surgery, excess glandular tissue, fat and skin are removed from the breasts. Similar to a breast augmentation, breast reduction surgery may be used to correct breast asymmetry.
- Gynecomastia (male breast reduction): Many males struggle with gynecomastia, which is a condition that makes male breasts overly large. Gynecomastia is usually caused by hormonal imbalances or weight gain and can be extremely embarrassing. Similar to breast reduction surgery, gynecomastia can be corrected through a male breast reduction procedure. A typical male breast reduction procedure includes the removal of excess breast tissue and skin to reshape the breast. Liposuction, a procedure to remove excess fat, may also be performed.
Before pursuing breast surgery, teen patients should have an open, honest discussion with their parents or guardians about any concerns and aesthetic goals. Our team can perform a pre-operative evaluation and discuss the expectations with your teen, in addition to creating a computerized image of what the results may look like. We believe these are essential first steps for any teenager before undergoing cosmetic plastic surgery.
Our approach for teens who are good candidates for breast surgery:
- Discuss potential complications and downplay preconceived notions. We focus on the reality that this is a surgical procedure and that results are not quick, easy or guaranteed.
- Explain what changes your teen may experience in the future. We want to emphasize the impact the surgery will have on the adolescent. The teen body is much more dynamic than the adult body, so we want to make sure to explain the effects of these changes.
- Talk about your teen’s surgery goal. She may have mixed feelings about the specific results she is looking for. This should be a red flag, signaling that your child could be unhappy with the results—no matter how successful the surgery.
- Provide time for family discussion and decisions. A decision is not required immediately after the initial consult. We believe the patient and family must be comfortable with the decision.
We want to make sure our patients and parents are well educated on the procedure. We believe all parties should be present at all visits and be involved in all data sharing, discussions and decision-making. We work with pediatric patients every day, so we understand how they think and feel. We listen to their concerns and help set expectations.
We make every effort during the visit and examination to make patients comfortable. Magdalena Soldanska, MD, one of the only female board-certified pediatric plastic surgeons in Georgia, is also available for patients who are more comfortable with a female doctor.