Silicone Breast Implants for a 21 Year Old?

I am a 34/36 A right now and would like to be a full B cup. I am still unsure on whether to get saline or silicone breast implants. I am only 21 years old and really do not want to wait to get them, but I read that you have to be 22 to have silicone breast implants. Should I wait, or could saline breast implants work for me? I know I want them subpectoral, and I have a moderate amount of breast tissue already. My main concern, however, is visible rippling. Any suggestions?

Doctor Answers 13

Silicone Implants in 21 y/o

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This question does require a full consultation in person but in general, I believe that silicone implants almost always look better than saline and that is what I recommend.

Silicone Breast Implants for a 21 Year Old?

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Thank you for the question.

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. Therefore, I find that I do use silicone gel breast implants for patients under the age of 22 frequently.
I hope this helps.
Best wishes

How to Use Silicone Implants Under 22 years old

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Silicone implants have less chance of rippling. If you are fully informed and sign a waiver/informed consent document along with a parent/legal guardian, if under legal age allowing off FDA label usage of a silicone implant then you can have these used even for cosmetic purposes.

Silicone Breast Implants for a 21 Year Old?

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If you have concerns with rippling silicone implants are probably your best option. Whether you get them at 21 or wait until the recommended age of 22 is going to be more of a personal choice, a qualified surgeon can help you in making that decision.

Be well and good luck!

You can vote, drink, and die for your country, and yes, you can have silicone gel implants at age 21.

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First of all, you should understand that you don't have to be 22 in order to receive silicone gel implants (made by any of the 3 implant companies in the US).

Silicone implants under the age of 22 are perfectly legal and appropriate for patients who have fully informed consent, and understand that use of silicone implants under the age of 22 is considered "off-label" by the FDA.

Off-label use is something that every doctor does frequently, when a medication is prescribed for another reason than the primary FDA-approved indication. For example, Botox is approved for cosmetic use only for the frown muscles between the brows. I suspect that virtually every physician who uses Botox ALSO uses it for crows feet expression lines, forehead lines, and other areas as well. This is an example of "off-label" use.

We're not breaking the rules or being unethical, we are simply making an informed medical choice in conjunction with our properly-informed patient. And we are certainly not in risk of losing our license to practice! Nor, IMHO, should we so easily cede our right to make our own informed medical decisions (patients) or provide proper medical advice based on training and experience in our patients' best interests (doctors).

So , yes, it's possible; yes, it's legal; and I do this for my patients who are properly informed and choose that option.

You need to talk to a few other ABPS-certified plastic surgeons; especially those who support the right of properly-informed patients between the ages of 18 and 22 to consent and request the implants of their choice. I do. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

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

Saline vs silicone gel breast implants in a 21 year-old

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The FDA has restricted the use of silicone gel breast implants to women ages 22 and greater.  So you have two choices: get saline now or get silicone gel next year.

If you have a moderate amount of breast tissue and want the implants placed under the pec major muscle, I think that saline is a very reasonable choice.  It is likely that you will feel some rippling, especially along the lower outer portion of the breasts (which is beyond the edge of the pec muscle).  However, it is unlikely that you will experience visible rippling.

Remember that silicone gel implants ripple too.  They just ripple much less than saline.

Ronald Friedman, MD
Plano Plastic Surgeon

Gel implants for a 21 year old

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In the US, gel implants are only available to women 22 and over. However, that does not mean you can not go for a consultation and get your questions answered. If you really want silicone gel implants, then I would wait until you are 22.

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

Can a 21 year old get silicone breast implants?

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If you have a 34/36 A cup and would like to only be a full B, and have moderate breast tissue for coverage, then you will likely get a very good result from augmentation with a saline implant. In your situation it is likely that rippling will not play a significant role. On the other hand, if you feel that silicone implants are the ones you want then you should wait for one more year. The FDA recommends 22 years of age for silicone breast augmentation and you will likely not find a qualified plastic surgeon who will not follow those recommendations. Good luck.

Sirish Maddali, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon

Breast Augmentation and Silicone Implants

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I would go see a board certified plastic surgeon and they can go over things in detail a bit more, as your situation is somewhat complicated.

However, given what you have described to us, as long as you dont go too big and have some breast tissue for coverage, then you will likely be ok with saline implants. I agree silicone feel more like breast tissue and have less rippling, but if saline is used in an appropriate way, you should be fine.

Other note is that it is unlikely that this would be your last surgery. Dont know if you plan on having kids later and breast feeding, both of which will change your result later on. At that point you can always switch to silicone.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

The FDA has limited use of silicone implants to women 22 years of age and older.

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The FDA has limited the use of silicone implants for augmentation to women over 22 years of age. That said there are so many decsions to make as to which implants, which incsions and the position ( under the muscle, under the breast tissue) that need to be made that it would be wise to have a consult ( or even more than one) with a board certified plastic surgeon and discuss all the options. There are advantages and disadvantages to each decision that you might not even be aware of and after your consult(s) you will be better able to make the best choice for you.

Susan E. Downey, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

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.