According to statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, breast reduction surgery has increased by 157 percent between 1997 and 2013.

Self-Esteem is The Driving Force

A 2012 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that adolescents affected by macromastia suffer from impaired health-related quality of life, low self-esteem and are at a higher risk for eating disorders, as compared to their peers.

Of the 96 women studied, ages 12-21, six percent had been previously treated for an eating disorder, 14 percent had been treated for anxiety and 29 percent had a family history of breast cancer.

Reasons for undergoing a breast reduction vary, but some common factors include disproportionate body frame, painful bra strap marks and sagging, according to The Lett Center.

The most effective treatment of macromastia is breast reduction.

Teens and Breast Reduction Surgery

According to The Lett Center, breast reduction surgery is performed by removing tissue glands, skin and excess fat.

There are many documented risks associated with teens undergoing breast reduction procedures, according to The Atlantic, including regrowth, puberty complications and social stigmas.

According to Brian Labow, the director of the Adolescent Breast Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital, many doctors may tell patients to wait until their growth plates close, usually between the ages of 12 and 14 before considering surgery. If regrowth does occur, Labow estimates that only two or three of his hundreds of patients have had to undergo a second surgery.

Besides age, the patient’s menstrual cycle, height and shoe size are also monitored in deciding whether they are a good candidate.

The Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery for Adults

Breast reduction treatments can relieve pain caused by macromastia such as a stiff neck or hunched shoulders, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can also lead to a more positive body image and participation in physical activities like sports and jogging.

To know whether you are a good candidate for breast reduction surgery, schedule a consultation with a certified and experienced surgeon.