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How Old Do You Have to Be to Undergo Breast Augmentation Surgery?
“I must, I must, I must increase my bust!” This quote from Judy Blume’s 1970 novel “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret” still testifies of the worries of growing young women even 50 years after its publication. The titular character, a sixth-grade girl who is worried that she is behind her friends in their individual physical development, is fortunate that she still has years ahead of her to become a woman. However, some young women in their final years of adolescence have their fears confirmed: their breasts are naturally small and may never grow larger than an A or B cup size. Fortunately, breast implants can enhance breast size and create the fuller, larger breasts that you may desire.
The following age restrictions and recommendations will help you decide when it is appropriate for you to pursue breast augmentation.
Age Limits Based on Implant Type
The different types of breast implants have somewhat arbitrary age limits that have been set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, though this is not based on any evidence of adverse physical effects when not adhered to. According to the FDA, women should be at least 18 years old if selecting saline implants and at least 22 years old when choosing silicone implants. Not following these guidelines is considered “off-label” usage of the implants.
A young woman’s physical, emotional, and intellectual states, as well as her maturity level, are all considered relevant factors in determining when a woman should get breast implants for breast augmentation surgery. Typically, Dr. Turkeltaub recommends waiting until she is 18 years of age before proceeding with breast augmentation surgery, though this age can be lower in situations involving reconstruction.
Because the quality of results tends to be much higher with silicone implants, Dr. Turkeltaub recommends this implant type to virtually all of his patients. Consequently, in those women who are under 22 years of age, the usage of silicone implants for them is considered to be “off-label.”
Consider Your Physical Development
A woman’s physical development is a critical component concerning the timing of breast augmentation surgery. Physically, a woman’s breasts should be fully developed before proceeding with breast augmentation surgery. Natural breast growth typically ends at or before late adolescence, though for some it can extend past this period. Most all have reached their natural growth (independent of weight issues) by age 18.
Special Circumstances for Younger Women
In some exceptional cases, special circumstances may make it appropriate to undergo breast augmentation earlier in a young woman’s teen years. Severe breast deformities such as tuberous breasts, severe asymmetries, or the congenital absence of one breast can be reasons to undergo breast augmentation sooner, though some of these situations can be considered to be reconstructive in nature rather than purely cosmetic. The mental and emotional issues associated with such conditions can be severe, warranting earlier “intervention.”
For more information on this or to schedule your consultation with Dr. Turkeltaub, you can contact us online or call our office at (480) 451-3000.