Although it is not uncommon for teens to feel uncomfortable about their bodies, cosmetic surgery is commonly perceived as an adult option. While this is often rightly so and most body issues your teen struggles with require time, patience, and support, some teens have more severe or psychologically debilitating concerns. Among the most common are breast disorders in young women, and sometimes men. These can cause self-esteem issues beyond normal “growing pains” and are one area where plastic surgery can be an appropriate option in a growing young person.
Building Body Confidence in Young Women and Men
Because teens are sensitive to embarrassment and can be selective in their relationships, it is crucial to find a cosmetic surgeon you both can speak comfortably to and trust. Dr. Jespersen is a board-certified plastic surgeon based in Fairfax, VA with experience both in adolescent care and breast and reconstructive surgical procedures. During a consultation she will:
- Speak to your teen about why she or he is uncomfortable with his or her body.
- Validate your teen’s body concerns without promoting unnecessary surgery.
- Review options for waiting versus performing surgery during development.
Fairfax and Northern Virginia parents are present at all of Dr. Jespersen’s exams and consultations and their consent is required for all patients under 18 years old. Dr. Jespersen encourages open dialogue to help you understand why your teen feels the need to have corrective surgery and whether surgery is the right option.
What Adolescent Breast Disorders Are Correctable?
With the rise in early development and increasing problems related to weight and hormonal disruption, adolescent breast disorders have risen. This has created a need to address a variety of problems in both young women and men.
Breast Reduction for Young Women
Some teenagers develop earlier than others. Young Fairfax and Northern Virginia women who develop especially large breasts may draw unwanted attention at a young age. Depending on your daughter’s age and stage of development, getting a breast reduction when she is younger can help her comfortably participate in sports and save her back and neck pain that can get worse over time.
Breast augmentation, perhaps the most controversial surgery for young women, is frequently performed because of breast asymmetry. Your daughter may be self-conscious because one breast is much larger than the other, sometimes by much more than a cup size. When this is due to overgrowth of one breast a reduction is the best option. When it is because one breast has clearly failed to develop normally, an implant in the underdeveloped breast corrects this problem. The decision to place an implant in a growing breast is not straightforward or without drawbacks. It isn’t the answer for everyone, but it is something to discuss and consider when asymmetry is severe enough to cause significant psychological distress and social embarrassment.
Breast Reduction for Young Men
Over half of all teenage boys suffer from gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue) at some point during puberty. This can cause embarrassment and create problems with normal social development. While this problem usually goes away on its own, it can take up to two or three years to completely resolve, and even then your son may still be left with some excess breast tissue and skin. In some cases, it fails to resolve altogether.
While surgical intervention is not the immediate answer for this problem, it should be considered if an adolescent male experiences:
- Significant pain.
- Extreme tenderness.
- Severe embarrassment.
- Breast tissue persisting for longer than two years.
While every parent has a different stance on surgical intervention, discussing the issues with a professional and understanding the options can go a long way toward easing everyone’s anxiety surrounding a delicate issue .
Treating More Than Just the Patient
At the core of any medical practice are the patients. As a plastic surgeon who operates on people of all ages, Dr. Jespersen’s approach is tailored to address the concerns and level of understanding of her patients and their families. When dealing with teens Dr. Jespersen will:
- Listen to and validate their concerns.
- Evaluate the physical problem.
- Explain how surgery may affect your teen’s development.
- Discuss possible options and provide you and your teen with expert advice.
Consultations give you and your teen a place to gain more information about solutions to a specific problem and provide a platform for questions and discussion. Dr. Jespersen is happy to offer her professional opinion and compassionate care at her office in the Fairfax and Northern Virginia area, whether or not you choose surgery.
To start the conversation about adolescent breast disorders, call our office in the Fairfax and Northern Virginia at (703) 992-7969 or fill out the contact form located on the side.