FDA approval is for 22 years and older but it is not illegal to have silicone implants at a younger age.
Thank you for sharing your question about having breast augmentation with silicone gel implants before the age of 22. It is true that the FDA recommends 22 and over for patients who desire a silicone gel breast implant. However this is a recommendation and not the law. Many board certified plastic surgeons will consider offering a silicone gel implant to patients under this age as long as a thorough discussion takes place. I hope this has been
helpful and I wish you all the best.
Coan, MD, FACS
For both gummy bear and silicone implants, the F.D.A. requires you to be 22 years of age (this is as far as I know not substantiated with any studies). There are a few exceptions to this rule that you may qualify for including: 1)breast asymmetry; 2)congenital deformity; 3)breast sagging, but a consultation would be necessary to give you definitive recommendations.
Hello! Thank you for your question. Breast augmentation is a procedure often sought by women to increase size, add upper pole fullness and projection along with improve shape and symmetry of her breasts. Women who have the breast augmentation done report increased self-confidence, self-esteem, and more comfortable with her body. In fact, it has been the most popular procedure in plastic surgery in the US for the past few years. Many surgeons use 18 years of age as the standard for when to offer the breast augmentation procedure to women. Maturity and the ability to make an educated decision for yourself of whether this procedure is the right one for you as well as factors regarding implant choice, size, incision placement, position of the implant, other adjunct procedures, etc are major factors. Having the maturity to understand all of the risks and benefits of the surgical procedure is also mandatory - thus, most are readily able to comprehend this at that age. 22 years of age is the FDA guideline for utilization of silicone implants.
Good communication between you and your surgeon of your expectations is warranted - choosing your surgeon wisely is the first step. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon well-versed in this procedure. Research your surgeon's education, training, as well as ability to perform this procedure. See postoperative photographs and most importantly choose the one who you feel most comfortable with and competent to meet your expectations. Discussion of your wishes and having an honest and open dialog of your procedure is mandatory (e.g, implant type, incision, placement, lift, etc). I have found that photographs brought by the patient is helpful to get a visualization of the appearance you wish for in terms of size, shape, fullness, etc. In addition, your surgeon's pre and postoperative photographs should demonstrate a realistic goal for you. Once this has been accomplished, allow your surgeon to utilize his/her best medical judgment during the procedure to finesse the best possible result for you after preoperative biodimensional planning and fitting the right implant for your breast width.
Hope that this helps! Best wishes for a wonderful result!
The FDA studies on implants were done in women 22 and older so their recommended use is for women 22 and older. Physicians regularly use medications for off label use. Most plastic surgeons feel silicone implant use is just as safe as saline and would be happy to take care of you. See another board ceritified plastic surgeon for a second opinion.
Jeremiah Redstone MD
The official approval for silicone breast augmentation from the FDA was for 22 years or older. However, many physicians can avoid this limitation from a "off label" use of the devices. Thus, it is possible for you to have silicone breast implants if that is what you prefer.
You should see a board certified plastic surgeon in your area to get a formal opinion through an in-person consultation.
Best of luck,
Vincent Marin, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
The FDA does suggest that silicone implants not be recommended for women who are not yet 22 however most plastic surgeons don't see the logic of this and will place silicone implants asking the patient to sign a release for "off-label" use. This is somewhat similar to the use of botox in areas that have not yet been approved by the FDA and are considered "off-label" even though commonly used for many years.
I think the choice of a saline implant is less than perfect for most women but is an alternative. Good luck with your decision and enjoy your results.
Thank you for your question and I think you will find that after an examination by an expert in the field you will be a candidate for silicone if desired. The rules by the FDA are confusing but usually most patients qualify.
There is nothing magical about the age of 22. Since there was a history of concerns and controversies regarding silicone implants in the past (now largely resolved), the FDA (a very conservative agency) wants to ensure as best as possible that patients who choose silicone implants are both physically mature and intellectually/emotionally mature. Most women do not experience much additional breast development at your age. I have also met many 18-20 year olds who are extremely intelligent, informed and mature as well as many patients over age 30 who are not. You should meet with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in order to determine whether you're a good candidate. If so, you can receive the silicone implants at age 21.
Silicone implants (both gummy bear and "regular") are cohesive gel implants. The gummy bear implants use a firmer gel, and are typically "shaped" to have a narrower upper portion and a fuller lower portion. Most patients can obtain a nice result with either type. The "regular" silicone implants are softer and may feel a little more natural.
The FDA does not require - it only recommends - that a woman be 22 before receiving silicone implants.
This is not based on the silicone implants being any less safe than saline filled ones. A plastic surgeon is
able to use the silicone implants in younger women for reconstructive purposes with the FDA's approval, and
is able to use them in younger women as an "off label" use of the implant. This is exactly the way Botox was
used for years for wrinkle improvement while being FDA-approved for reconstructive purposes only.
As far as differences between implants, the "gummy bear" implants are textured on the outside and shaped
like a tear drop. They are also firmer than a smooth implant. Visit with a plastic surgeon to view them and
talk about what would work best to give you the result you want.