Is Teenage Breast Enlargement Appropriate

Breast implants are approved for use in America by the FDA (Federal Drug Administration).     In fact, all medical implants are regulated by the FDA.  However, FDA approval comes with “use limitations” or guidelines for appropriate usage.  The trend toward younger and younger patients considering cosmetic surgery is troubling.  Unfortunately good judgement is sometimes lacking when teens consider having breast enlargement surgery.

The key limitation which impacts any young woman under the age of 18 and the decision to have breast enlargement surgery are the FDA age restrictions.   Saline breast implants can be used for cosmetic breast enlargement surgery at age 18.   Silicone gel breast implants on the other hand, can only be used for cosmetic breast enlargement surgery at the age of 22.   These age restrictions are in place based on the FDA’s evaluation of each implant type.   According to the FDA, “FDA restricts the marketing of breast implants for augmentation to women of a minimum age because young women’s breasts continue to develop through their late teens and early 20s and because there is a concern that young women may not be mature enough to make an informed decision about the potential risks.”   Johnson & Johnson (formerly Mentor) and Allergan (formerly Inamed) package inserts reflect the age limitations in their package inserts.   In addition, both the ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons) and ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery)  back the FDA’s age restrictions.

I believe that the age restriction is based on sound recommendations and as a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and a member of the societies above, I follow these guidelines.



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