Silicone Implants on an 18 Year Old?

I am 18 and I have always had size 36A breasts. I have known for years that I have wanted implants. My concern is this: I have researched and the FDA recommends that silicone implants are not used in patients my age. Why is this? And is this really just a recommendation, or is it a rule? This worries me because I really do not want saline implants.

Doctor Answers 8

Silicone implants are prohibited in the U.S. in women 21 years or younger

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FDA prohibits silicone gel implants on women 21 years or younger.  There is no rational reason for this.  Your alternative would to go outside the U.S.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Silicone Implants on an 18 Year Old

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Thank you for submitting your question. A SIlicone gel implant would be the great option for you at the FDA mandated age of 22 years. Saline implants 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

Silicone Implants on an 18 Year Old?

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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 at age 18, really do not want saline.

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You are right, the FDA had approved silicone gel implants for those 22 and older. The decision was arbitrary and is some ways seems unfair. On the other side of things, since gels were removed from the market, we used saline implants for 15 years with considerable success and we still use many of them today. The cost is lower, the incision smaller, the leak rates similar or lower, the late contracture rates lower, and ease of replacement is remarkable, the softness very nice and better than very cohesive gel. Finally, as implants last perhaps 15+ years, you can get gels (if you want them) at the age of thirty something if the saline has worn out, and yes, no MRI's. Not really so bad.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Silicone Implants on an 18 Year Old?

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When silicone implants returned to the market the FDA approved those implants only for women over 22 years of age. this is a guideline there may be some surgeons who offered these implants on an "off label" basis. 

However the large majority of plastic surgeons will follow  the rules sit down by the FDA.

Thank you for your question and best wishes

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

18 and Silicone Implants

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The FDA from what I can tell, made 22 the minimum age at which a cosmetic patient can get silicone implants, based on compromise and political considerations.  No so with Saline.


If there is a reconstructive need that age requirement can be waived.



Silicone implants in an 18 year old

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Currently, FDA guidelines state that silicone implants are only approved for cosmetic breast augmentation in women 22 years of age or older.  They can be used in women of any age for breast reconstruction, however.  The reasoning behind these guidelines is unclear.  Excellent cosmetic results can still be obtained with saline implants.If you are interested in a cosmetic breast augmentation, I would definitely recommend that you speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options.  Good luck!

Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

The FDA sets the rules.

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The current law prohibits the use of Silicone implants in patients 21 and younger. The exact reasoning for this is not clear but it is a rule that we have to follow.

Walter D. Gracia, MD
Fort Worth Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 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.