My daughter has one very small breast, noticably uneven breasts and she is impacted emotionally by this. Can this be repaired at her age? Because of her age, I do not have photos.
Can a 16 Year Old Have Breast Augmentation?
Doctor Answers (12)
Breast Augmentation in a Minor
Any cosmetic procedure performed on a patient who legally qualifies as a minor is highly controversial. However, not all breast procedures are truly "cosmetic" in nature, and in fact you describe a situation which would be considered by most as "reconstructive." Correcting significant breast asymmetry in your daughter may have a profound positive effect on her emotionally and physically, and can be looked into further by you and her in more detail with a consultation with a plastic surgeon.
Congenital breast deformity.
Underdevelopment of one breast is typically due to a congenital breast deformity. Correction often involves the use of an implant. If she is still developing breast volume on the normal side, an adjustable implant can provide better symmetry while she develops. In certain cases, there is an absence of the chest muscles on that side as well and the use of more complicated reconstruction techniques are advised. These cases should be considered reconstructive in nature. A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in breast reconstruction should be able to help you work with your insurance company and possibly have this covered by insurance.
In situations where there is significant asymmetry, a reconstructive situation is recognized. The use of implants for correction of the asymmetry permits the use of gel. These are not otherwise available until age 22. I would do the reconstruction when she has had a stable breast size for at least 6 months. If her size is still changing, please wait to avoid reoperation for size change.
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Correction of asymmetry can really help with self esteem
Significant breast asymmetry can be very distressing for young women, and severely impact their self-esteem. As long as you are supportive and of course give permission, correction of this asymmetry can be a real life changing procedure. Frequently there is more to the asymmetry than just a size difference, and differences in shape as well may be evident. Depending on the degree of size and shape asymmetry, nipple and areola asymmetry etc, sometimes additional procedures may be required including asymmetric lift procedures, and fat grafting over the implants.
In our practice we also frequently use adjustable Spectrum implants to help achieve ideal symmetry.
Breast Augmentation for 16 Year Old?
Thank you for the question.
I'm glad that your daughter has your support; this will be critical as she makes decisions regarding her breasts. Given the breast asymmetry (and the emotional impact it is having on your daughter) it would be best for you both to meet with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeon in person. Only after physical examination and a full discussion of your daughter's goals, can good recommendations be provided. These recommendations may include the appropriateness of surgery at this early age.
Please make sure that you visit with board certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience helping patients like your daughter.
Teenage breast augmentation
For elective breast augmentation, there is an age requirement and she would not qualify. If however, she has a congenital deformity such as Poland's syndrome or tubular breasts, she might be eligible as a reconstruction to restore normal form.
Breast asymmetry and the teenage girl
Breast asymmetry can be a very emotional issue for a young teenage girl. For someone this age I would want to know if her breast growth has been stable for at least one year. There are many reasons to wait a few more years so that she understands that the choices she makes now will have life long implications. It is likely that as she ages she may need additional surgery to maintain symmetry. Consult a local plastic surgeon for more advise and suggestions.
Breast asymmetry and augmentation as a teen
Breast asymmetry can be very troubling and an implant can be an appropriate solution. You have to keep in mind that an implant for asymmetry at a early age might need maintainence or adjustment as the breast continues to develop but it can be a very important step for some young women to allow full participation and acceptance.
Treatment of breast asymmetry in a minor
Appropriate Age for Breast Augmentation to Treat Asymmetry
This is a difficult question and can only be answered after careful discussion with the patient and her family. Although there is potential for the breasts to change as she gets older, severe breast asymmetry can be emotionally devastating for a patient. I recommend sitting down with a Board Certified Plastic surgeon and making an informed decision plan together. Best of luck.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.