I am 20 years old. Can I receive silicone implants if I have tuberous breasts, even though I'm under 22? (photos)

I know the FDA has banned the use of silicone in patients under 22, but I have read that that is usually looked over if the patient has a congenital deformity. I have tuberous breasts that never fully developed. Would they be considered one of those deformities? What type of deformities does it take to get a silicone implants under the age of 22? I would want a well experience, reputable, board certified plastic surgeon to preform the surgery, would that be possible?

Doctor Answers 13

Your options

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There are two great options to consider:
1. IDEAL implants - these are newly released "hybrid implants" double lumen saline implants made to feel like silicone
2. I will place silicone implants in patients under 22 yrs old but first have an informed consent and have them sign a waiver that they are aware that they are being used in "off label' FDA use.

Age under 22

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The use of silicone implants is not banned for a person under the age of 22.  The youngest person studied in the FDA study was 22 and therefore there is no studies on anyone younger.  The Texas state law requires that any patient under the age of 22 sign a consent of understanding in order to receive a silicone breast implant, which is what I do in my practice.

Silicone gel implants are the best aesthetic choice for treating tuberous or constricted breasts.

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There's nothing illegal about using silicone gel implants in individuals lesson 22. This guideline is utterly ridiculous from the beginning. I would agree that based on the photographs silicone gel implants in a sub glandular position would be the best choice.

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I am 20 years old. Can I receive silicone implants if I have tuberous breasts, even though I'm under 22?

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Thank you for the question and pictures. In my opinion, there is no good reason why there is an FDA mandated age of 22 for patients to receive silicone breast implants. There are many patients under the age of 22 who would (based on their body type and the advantages of silicone breast implants) benefit from the use of silicone gel breast implants.  In regards to the warrantee concerns, there is no “language” negating the warrantee for patients under the age of 22, with the breast implant manufacturer we utilize most in our office.  When the time is right, select your plastic surgeon carefully and communicate your goals carefully as well.  Make sure that your plastic surgeon has significant demonstrable experience helping patients achieve the types of outcomes you would be pleased with. You may also find the attached link , dedicated to tuberous/constricted breasts patients, helpful to you as you learn more.  Best wishes. 

Silicone breast implants for tuberous breast patient under 22

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In my opinion correction of your tuberous breast deformity is a reconstructive procedure to correct a congenital deformity.  Of course you need to discuss this in detail with your plastic surgeon is under the circumstances in my opinion silicone gel breast implants could be used.  However it is important that you specifically discussed with the manufacturer of your implants whether this will impact your warranty.

Silicone implants for a 20 year old

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Thank you for your question. Yes, you may use silicone implants even if you are 20 years old. The use of silicone implants in patients under 22 years old is considered an off-label use by the FDA. Essentially, this means you will lose the manufactures warranty for the implant. Please consult with a plastic surgeon to see if silicone implants are the right choice for you.

I am 20 years old. Can I receive silicone implants if I have tuberous breasts, even though I'm under 22?

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Great question! But FDA and the implant companies have requirements and rules to follow or there are consequences. One major issue is loss of life time warranty of implant replacement if a rupture you need to consider. Plus other issues. 

Yes it's ok

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While the FDA recommends saline implants for women under 22, that's just a recommendation, and the final recommendation is up to the physician and the patient. It can be difficult to open the constricted base of the breast in a case like yours, but it can be done. Silicone implants are generally more natural feeling and saline have issues with valve compromise and deflation. Look for board certification and great results. 

David L. Buchanan, MD
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon

Silicone implants for a 20-year-old

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Thank you for your pictures. The FDA mandates that all look old implants be placed in women 22 years or older. It's a plastic surgeon chooses to place silicone implants in a woman younger than 22  is considered an off label use. What this means for you is that any warrantee that the implants have for the manufacturer will be voided. 

FDA recommendations about the use of gel filled implants

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The FDA recommendations are only that, a recommendation.  It is up to the plastic surgeon to advise the patient about the FDA recommendations.  If both patient and surgeon feel a better result can be obtained using gel implants then there is no problem.  

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.