Can a 16 Year Old Have Breast Augmentation?

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.

Doctor Answers (13)

Asymmetric breast size is normal

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Breast development continues throughout a woman's life, with a first stage of maturity achieved at 19-20 years old. Asymmetry is also the norm for women, as no breasts are perfectly symmetrical in size and/or shape. Don't worry, because some asymmetry is perfectly normal and she may find that it is evens out as she ages. I suggest she wait until about 19-20 before considering surgery.


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

Breast Augmentation in a Minor

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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.

Brian Howard, MD
Alpharetta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Congenital breast deformity.

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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.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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Breast Asymmetry

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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.

David Janssen, MD, FACS
Oshkosh Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Correction of asymmetry can really help with self esteem

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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.

Jeffrey Hartog, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Breast Augmentation for 16 Year Old?

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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.

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 793 reviews

Teenage breast augmentation

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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.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Breast asymmetry and the teenage girl

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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.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Breast asymmetry and augmentation as a teen

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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.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Treatment of breast asymmetry in a minor

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Correction of asymmetry can take various forms, including reduction of the larger breast, augmentation of the smaller one, or a combination of the two. It is not covered by insurance, unfortunately, one of my pet peeves. Typically, it is wise to wait until full physiological maturity has been achieved but there are countervailing psychosocial issues, as you have noted. I would recommend that you begin the process by taking your daughter to see a board certified plastic surgeon to explore your options. It is very important for your child to have the maturity to know how she would like to have the problem treated and to be a decision-maker and this may be a reason for wait until she is at least 18 before undergoing any surgical procedures.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

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.