Is Getting Silicon Breast Implants at 18 a Bad Idea? How Long Will They Last?

I've always hated my breast and wanted to get implants, right now I'm 17 and thinking "Should I wait or get them ASAP?" I'm tired of waiting but if it would be better for me to wait, I will. I just need advice right now because I don't know much about my options, and does anyone know about how much it will cost me and payment plans?

Doctor Answers 7

Is Getting Silicon Breast Implants at 18 a Bad Idea? How Long Will They Last

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Thank you for submitting your question. A SIlicone gel implant would be the best option for you at the FDA mandated age of 22 years. Saline implants are can be placed at age 18 years of age.  Without photos, difficult to make recommendations.  When your ready, make an appointment with a Board Certified Plastic surgeon. Best Wishes.

Is Getting Silicon Breast Implants at 18 a Bad Idea?

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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. Unfortunately, the use of these implants for these younger patients will negate the breast implant manufacturer warranty.

I hope this, and the attached link, helps.

Silicone Breast Implants in 18 year old

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The FDA approval for the use of silicone gel  filled implants is only for women who are 22 years old or older. Saline filled implants do not have any age restriction associated with their use.  In my practice, the minimum age for breast augmentation with saline filled implants is 18 years old assuming that they are a good candidate and emotionally mature. 

Laurence Weider, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Silicone implants are "legal" between ages 18-22. But are you informed?

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CaseyJo, your question frankly shows a fair amount of immaturity, except for the part where you make the wise statement that "if it would be better for me to wait, I will." This gives me hope that if you do some very right and proper things in the near future, you might become an appropriate candidate for silicone implants before the age of 22.

As others have stated, the present FDA recommendations are that silicone implants be used only in women age 22 and older. However, it is perfectly legal to use them "off label" in properly-informed women who request them under the age of 22, just as we use Botox for treatment of "crows feet" when it is FDA approved ONLY for the treatment of glabellar frown lines!

My concern for you is your lack of information, your lack of ability to pay for elective surgery (even if you somehow obtain financing for surgery, how will you pay for revisional surgery if you choose a "cheap non-plastic surgeon" and end up with an unplanned complication?), and your apparent thought that implants are the "automatic" solution to "hating your breasts."

But let's assume you are a bright, thoughtful, high self-esteem young woman who has the maturity to be a good student, not use drugs or alcohol (including pot), and has a job and is saving the money for an operation that (depending on the area of the country you live in) will cost about $6000 (more on the coasts, less if a fly-by-night "cosmetic surgeon" is chosen because of cheap price).

Start by doing research on the operation, the pros and cons of silicone vs. saline, and how long each of them can be expected to "last." HINT: saline cost less, but can leak and require re-operation to replace the deflated implant(s). Don't choose "cheap" over the "best surgeon you can find." Click on the web reference link below for your first dose of reality! Then start looking at ABPS-certified plastic surgeons' websites, photographs, and RealSelf Q & A. Then arrange consultations with several of those who seem to know what's going on. Perhaps you will be ready before age 22; perhaps not. But please, do it right, not quick or cheap! Best wishes Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Breast implant age

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If you want silicone implants you will have to wait until you are 22 as recommended by the FDA.  Sorry.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Silicone implants

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When the FDA approved silicone implants, the established age for placement for augmentation was 22 years old.

David A. Lickstein, MD
Palm Beach Gardens Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Find the right surgeon

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Far more important than the technique is the skill and experience of your plastic surgeon. Choose your surgeon rather than the technique and let them explain why one technique may be better than another.
See the below link on some suggestions on finding the most qualified Plastic Surgeon for a breast augmentation. 

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.

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.