What is the Right Age for a Breast Augmentation?

gel implantsBreasts are a defining feature of womanhood. So I don’t think there is an age range that gals do not think of looking better with breast enhancement being a good thing. But at what age is a gal old enough to manage an elective surgical procedure and responsible enough to undergo surgery with all the pre and post-operative demands?

During my pre-operative interview, I am trying to understand each individual’s motivation, their age of maturity, and their real reason for choosing an augmentation. I have never done, nor will I ever do, Prom Boobs. Trying to assess a patient’s self esteem verses need for attention should always be an important part of the interview for a doctor. This operation can build self-esteem or confidence as long as they are doing it for themselves and not seeking attention.

I am mindful of the parent bringing them into the consultation, and their opinions of what is best for their daughters. Our Society often allows eighteen years olds both responsibility as well as freedoms. Experience has taught me that some; however not many, are actually ready at this age for breast enhancement.

How breasts form is not necessarily equal or normal. The range of variation I have seen in my long career as a breast surgeon is unfathomable for the uninitiated. I tell my patients their breasts are “sisters and not twins.” It is not unusual for women to develop breasts that are unequal or extremely small; however this is a typically real reason that mothers and daughters come for a breast augmentation consultation at an early age.

Young women have expectations of what they want to achieve with surgery. Utilizing the Vectra 3D Imaging allows us to provide a realistic view of what I can do for them with both round and shaped implants. Having patients see themselves in this imagery is very revealing and educating. This avoids their need to bring in pictures of supermodels, whom they will never look like post-operatively.

All physicians must adhere to our ethics code to do no harm to our patients. I believe doctors need to promote our patient’s ability to breast feed their future off spring. Over augmenting or utilizing a peri-areolar approach can be harmful. Is there an age that I do not perform this surgery? I have done this procedure on my post menopausal or older patients who have good tissues. They return for post-op evaluations and discuss their youthful, renewal and vibrancies they are experiencing. But I will honestly tell patients, whose tissues will not support an augmentation, that they are not a candidate. This is independent of age.

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