Carrying heavy, large breasts can easily get in the way of exercising, sports and daily living. Fortunately, Breast Reduction surgery can assist you in reducing breast-related back and shoulder pain and improve your posture as well as your confidence levels. We see a rise in teenagers seeking Breast Reduction procedures. Read more to find out why.
Breast Reduction Surgery: Why has it risen dramatically in teenagers in recent years?
Statistics clearly show that a much greater number of teenagers than ever before are choosing to have Breast Reduction plastic surgery.
The best statistics reporting for cosmetic and plastic surgeries tends to be in the USA, where there has been a 157% rise in demand for Breast Reduction Procedures.
This phenomenon is mirrored in Australia, where we see notable increases in teenage patients who want to reduce the size of overly large, heavy breasts.
The increase in Breast Reduction Surgery requests by teens and young adults is mirrored in many other countries across the world.
There is some debate about why this increase in surgery requests is occurring.
Breast Reduction Surgery is on the rise
Is it that the procedure is better known and more efficient, or is the condition of very large breasts (known as macromastia) on the increase?
Social media influences may also be a factor in the rise of surgery requests for more balanced breast proportions.
The impact of social media has also been named as a possible factor in the rise of surgical requests, because of the increasing emphasis on selfies and appearance in pictures on such sites as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.
It appears that some Plastic or Cosmetic Surgeons are more willing to operate on teenage girls, given it can drastically help improve their lives at a crucial juncture of social development. This could also explain the increase in breast reduction surgery requests.
While this Reconstructive Surgery has largely been recommended for girls or women aged 18 or older, Reduction Surgery is definitely becoming more common in younger patients.
What does Breast Reduction Surgery involve?
A breast reduction (or Reduction Mammoplasty) is usually a very successful procedure.
- Consumer forums regularly indicate there is a very HIGH RATE of satisfaction among patients that have opted for Reduction Procedures.
- It’s not just the cosmetic appearance – or being able to wear all types of clothing – that makes women happy after surgery
- The health and lifestyle issues that accompany the operation appear to have a strong impact on confidence (improving social comfort and confidence), freedom and mobility (where heavy breasts once limited activities or participation in sports).
There are different types of Breast Reduction Surgery procedures.
If you want to learn more, we highly encourage you to attend one of our special FREE EVENTS in Hawthorn to meet our team of Breast Reduction Specialist Surgeons, including Dr Craig Rubinstein (Melbourne) and Our Team of Surgeons (Berwick).
- ANCHOR incision – an anchor-shaped incision from the nipple and around the contour of the breast, which is often used when there is a lot of excess skin to remove, and the need to lift the breast;
- The LeJour Incision – which is a lollipop shaped or J-shaped scar, which is a diminished anchor incision;
- The DONUT or DOUGHNUT incision – a doughnut mastopexy creates an incision around the areola.
As there are often genuine health issues involved with heavy breasts (back pain, shoulder pain or chronic chaffing and skin infections), some medical insurance groups cover part of the cost of the reduction procedure. You’ll need to ask your GP and your Health Fund for specifics.
For general procedure information, read our Breast Reduction pages.
Breast Reduction Surgeons: What troubles teenagers with very large breasts?
Psychologists often explain how confusing sexuality can be in your youth, even if you don’t stand out. Having extremely large breasts in one’s teens, or at any age, can generate very unwanted attention or even bullying.
Teenagers with large breasts tend to report struggling with undesired attention. They also have difficulty fitting into some types of clothes they’d like to wear (swimwear or backless outfits); and can develop low self-esteem.
Then there are the very real health issues – as almost all women with very large breasts complain about back and neck pain and most have posture problems.
Ergonomically, very large breasts can literally weigh a person down – especially if they have a small frame.
In addition, there’s shoulder bra-notching (bra strap dig-ins to the skin that can actually become semi-permanent skin indentations), shoulder swelling and the rashes that can form under the breasts. This leaves chafed skin (known as intertrigo) that scabs over and can cause ongoing discomfort.
Large breasts also prevent teenagers from certain activities.
One girl who had surgery mentioned that she really wanted to do Cheerleading but couldn’t because her back hurt too much and her breasts prevented fluid cheer leading movements.
Another girl reported having breast reduction surgery and noted that she was delighted to win a tennis scholarship, which she said would have been impossible before the surgery.
If breasts are getting larger worldwide, what is the cause?
The national breast size appears to be definitely on the rise in many countries. According to one report, the average breast size in the USA has grown dramatically in a decade. Estimates vary depending on what reports or surveys you read, but the general trend seems to be at least several cup sizes LARGER, if not more.
Reported Breast Size Changes (Cup Size Changes) – 36DD and the L Cup?
Partially due to rising obesity rates, the average breast size in the USA may now be in the 36DD bra size category at present; up from the 34B average reported 20 years earlier.
Backing up the survey findings, it now that, in the UK, a lingerie label specifically aimed to support bigger breasts has recently announced the arrival of the L-cup (after the KK cup was no longer sufficient).
Certainly health professionals due believe that obesity is one of the key causes of larger breasts, but there appear to be several other factors that are increasing these trends.
Obesity and Breast Size/Cup Size Increases
For females, fat is laid down on breasts as much as on thighs or bottoms.
Currently the world’s population (particularly in developed countries) is experiencing an OBESITY epidemic. So it’s not surprising that women’s proportions – including bra cup sizes – are also on the rise.
This is not the total answer, though, for the rise in larger breasts across many population groups.
In fact, many teens with macromastia (abnormally large breasts) can also be quite slim. Yet they seem to be going up a couple of bra cup sizes every year.
Professionals working in the lingerie, swimwear and bra sales businesses also suggest that the vast majority of those who are big-busted have small bodies.
Increased hormones in the environment could be responsible for larger breasts and increased breast tissue
What many medical professionals and nutritional specialists have noticed is that it isn’t simply extra fat in breasts – but increased levels of breast tissue. Here’s what might be going on:
- Oestrogen is what stimulates breast tissue – it’s one of the key hormones involved in changes to a woman’s body during puberty.
- Our exposure to all sorts of Oestrogen has changed over the years
- We are in contact with numerous oestrogenic chemicals
Modern Periods, Changes in Reproduction & Breast Sizes
- Women today have far more periods than their ancestors
- Women are also reaching puberty (and menstruation) earlier than ever before
- In many countries, women are having fewer children and are breast-feeding for shorter periods of time due to career demands, alternatives such as formula and changing social structures
Consequently, women are exposed to more monthly surges of Oestrogen.
Also, today’s women were born to the FIRST generation of women who were using the contraceptive Pill.
Hormones are powerful influences on development and other bio-physiological functions.
Initially, Birth Control Pills contained far higher dosages of synthetic oestrogen than modern pills do today.
There is still little research as to the full impact this might have on future generations.
On top of that, an Environmental Agency published research (2002) that showed a potent form of Oestrogen was changing the sex of half the male fish in British rivers. It was believed this Oestrogen came from the urine of Pill and Hormone Replacement Therapy users.
Xenoestrogens, Bio-physiology and Breast Size
Males are also experiencing physiological and hormonal changes, likely liked with environmental and nutritional changes as well as rising obesity rates.
If xenoestrogens (foreign oestrogens) in our environment are, indeed, possibly responsible for the rapid decline in male sperm count, they could potentially by affecting women’s breast sizes as well.
Xenoestrogens are found everywhere – in pesticides, plastics, and cosmetics – even in tinned food, glass jars and electronic equipment. These chemicals mimic the hormone that our bodies naturally produce; a hormone known to influence breast size.
A number of companies are now trying to remove these from their products, as they may be harmful ‘hormone disruptors’. But they remain rampant in our current environments. It is believed that when these xenoestrogens are included in the ingredients of deodorants, cosmetics, make-up and moisturisers, and then applied directly to the skin, it COULD be possible that these products are actually stimulating a growth in breast tissue.
The xenoestrogen hormones are even present in milk as about two-thirds of the milk consumed in our society comes from pregnant cows (in other words, cows are kept pregnant to help ensure a steady supply of milk).
Sedentary lifestyles impact physical function AND body chemistry
With so many entertainment devices at our fingertips, ready transport and desk-bound studies, it’s no wonder that we are more sedentary than we ever were in the past. But this often leads to weight gain and isn’t healthy. And as people live a more sedentary lifestyle, it is possible that the hormones may be metabolized less quickly. If hormones aren’t being efficiently excreted, they could build up in the body – or exist at different levels than in past generations – and this may alter its natural shape, including breast sizes.
Research aiming to discover exactly why women’s breasts are growing larger – and the health impact that xenoestrogens may be having – continues.
Meanwhile, it seems that more young women are resorting to Breast Reduction Surgery to deal with very large or heavy breast tissue that is having a negative effect on their confidence, social life or health, or all three.
Send an enquiry form and we will send you more information or help answer any preliminary questions you may have. Or, if you’re reading this during Clinic hours, phone a Patient Care Coordinator on (03) 8849 1444.
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