I am 18 years old and am wanting breast implants. I am 5'7'' and 125 lbs. I have read that saline implants are approved for 18 and over, unlike silicone implants, which are approved for 22 and over. Do the implants come with more risk the younger you are?
Higher Breast Implant Risk for Younger Patients?
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silicone breast implants
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Breast Augmentation and Younger Patients?
Thank you for the question.
You are correct in that the FDA has recommended the use of silicone breast implants for patients above the age of 22. This does not mean however that there is any scientific evidence that silicone breast implants carry more risk the younger you are.
I hope this helps.
Not necessarily higher risk from breast implants
I tell every patient of mine who has breast implants that there is always a chance that they will have more breast surgery in their future whether it be for size change, capsular contracture, breast lift, etc. It makes sense that they younger you are when you have your first surgery that your risk of needing additional surgery in your future is higher. Your breasts will go through changes in your lifetime in response to weight loss/gain, pregnancy, etc. Althoug hthe FDA recommends that a woman be 22 to have silicone implants, the rationale is not clear but that is their recommendation. Take care.
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No more risk from breast implants in younger patients
Breast augmentation is a very popular and common procedure. Most plastic surgeons including myself don't consider breast augmentation on patients until they are 18 for several reasons. Most importantly it is important to wait until the later teenage years because some women experience breast growth in their later teenage years. Also it is a consensus agreed upon age that most patients at 18 can make mature decisions about their bodies that are not whimsical and they are legally mature to sign their own consent forms.
I agree with the other plastic surgeon that realistically ANY patient has to expect at some point in her life she will require revision to her implants whether they are being "changed" for patient driven reasons (i.e. want to change size or change from saline to silicone), or complications (such as capsular contraction or deflation/leakage/rupture).
I know several doctors that are willing to do silicone gel implants in 18 years olds but it is clearly OFF LABEL from the FDA approval. I only offer saline implants to my patients, and I predict that many of them will come back in time to have them "changed out" for silicone gel at a later time. The good news is that "changing out the implants" involves relatively little discomfort and recovery, even less than the initial surgery.
Also most 18 year olds have not had children yet so it is important to discuss that breasts are typically changed quite significantly with pregnancy and there is a significantly likelihood that they will have to do something to them after having children. Sometimes that can be as simple as an "exchange of implants", othertimes it means simply adding a breast lift.
Hope this helps!
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