Why Adolescent Girls Develop Unusually Big Breasts” – Plastic Surgeon

Mamie Sam is the 11-year-old Sierra Leonean girl whose embarrassing breast growth attracted global attention.

A class five pupil of Roman Catholic Primary School, Segbwema, Sierra Leone, Mamie Sam resides with her grandparents in Sebwema town.

Her innocence came under assault when she noticed that her breasts were growing at abnormal pace, such that within a year, they had outgrown any possible bra size, and they had also become impossible for her small, thin frame to bear.

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Because of the peculiarity of her problem, her worried grandparents made sacrifices on her behalf, while they also sought medical attention. However, nothing worked for her

The troubled adolescent soon stopped going to school when she could no longer endure the taunting of her peers.

However, succour came her way when a team of surgeons from The Netherlands agreed to operate on her.

She was quoted as saying that the surgery, which took seven hours, was done today at the Holy Spirit Hospital, Sierra Leone. She is currently recuperating from the surgical interventions.

But then, what could be responsible for unusual breast enlargement, medically known as macromastia, in adolescents?

According to America-based ‎Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Chuma Chike-Obi, several factors could be responsible for breast enlargement among adolescent girls.

Chike-Obi, who specialises in cosmetic plastic surgery of the breasts, said breast enlargement of the sort experienced by Mamie Sam can be spontaneous and not necessarily due to any known cause.

He explains that breast enlargement can arise if an individual is obese, or as a result of hormonal imbalances.

In a term paper he delivered alongside a team of researchers, Chike-Obi says the phenomenon can result from exaggerated or complex growth of the breasts in a juvenile person, such as the one experienced by Mamie Sam.

“In this case, hypertrophy, or an alarmingly rapid breast enlargement, can occur during puberty,” he says.

Experts say breast hypertrophy (enlargement) in the adolescent person can have significant long-term medical and psychological impacts.

Chike-Obi notes that symptoms can be severe, but reduction mammoplasty, such as the one undergone by Mamie Sam, is a safe and effective treatment and may be the only way to alleviate the increased social, psychological, and physical strain