I'm Young, Soon to Be 17, and I Was Wondering the Legal Age to Get Breast Implants?

I am 16 years old and I'll be 17 in a short period of time and my small breasts have been the cause of a lot of mental anguish to the point of depression over my personal self image and confidence. I'm about 5'5 and 135 with a small B-cup, honestly probably closer to an A. I was just wondering the legal limit to have breast implants WITH parental consent. They aren't completely on board yet, but it is something they've considered due to my poor confidence.

Doctor Answers 10

Legal Age Limit for Breast Augmentation

Thank you for the question.

It is very difficult to give you good advice without direct examination or pictures.  Given the degree of your concern I wonder if you are dealing with congenital breast development anomalies/ asymmetry or with breast hypoplasia ( underdevelopment).

There is no “legal age to get breast implants”.  However, generally it is in your best interest to wait till you are physically,  emotionally,  and psychosocially "mature"  enough to make a very significant body altering decision. Every patient will reach this level of maturity at a different chronological age.

Your description of “a lot of mental anguish to the point of depression” is very concerning  and with all due respect seems somewhat extreme.  I wonder if counseling regarding “poor confidence” issues is indicated. It would be a shame to undergo any surgical procedure only to find subsequently that the real source of your “mental anguish” was something different altogether.

I would suggest you wait on having the procedure for at least 2-3  years.  In the meantime work on self-improvement in other ways.  When the time is right me with a few well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons.  Ask to see lots of their previous work and preferably meet with patients who have had the same procedure. Make sure you're well educated regarding the potential risks/complications...

Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Age For Breast Implants

Thank you for your question!  You have to be 18 years old to have a breast augmentation, although gel implants are only available in some offices to women 21 years or older.  Do your research and find a board certified plastic surgeon discuss your goals and concerns.  Best of luck!
Dr Dhaval Patel Double Board Certified Plastic SurgeonChicagoHoffman Estates Oak Brook

Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

I'm young, ssoon to be 17, and I was wondering the legal age to get breast implants?

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!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast Augmentation for Teens

Hi there-

I'm sorry you've had a hard time. Adolescence is so very difficult under the best of circumstances...

The propriety of breast augmentation for you at the age of 17 would depend on several issues... Whether or not your breasts have stopped growing, whether or not the rest of you has stopped growing (both minor issues having more to do with the details of the surgery than whether or not it should be done), and the more difficult issues surrounding the performance of cosmetic surgery in such a young woman.

I'm glad that you've brought your parents into the conversation- their support will be important if and when you do proceed.

If you were my daughter, I would want to believe that you were doing it for the right reasons (to be more self-confident, and not to draw more attention from boys or worse, a specific boy), I would want to believe you knew what you were getting into (implants don't last forever and you will need further surgery down the road. They also have certain risks.) Most of all, I would want to be as confident as possible that this would actually achieve the goal of a happier you.

So I would probably make you think and talk about it with me for a long time...

And that's what I recommend. Talk to your parents, family friends, pastor or priest- everyone and anyone you trust. Learn everything you can about the procedure, its outcomes, and its risks (without focusing on what type of implant or where you think you want the scar to be- those things will be decided later with the assistance of a good surgeon). In other words, don't rush because you're afraid your parents will change their minds. 

If this is the right thing to do for you, time will only make that conviction stronger in both your parents minds and your own.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

How old is too young for breast implants?

There is no "legal" age for implants.  This kind of a thing is taken on a case by case basis and each surgeon has their own ideas.

If there is a severe breast deformity, such as complete breast absence on one side, I would offer breast surgery when you are physically and mentally prepared.

For breast augmentation of small but otherwise normally developed breasts I would wait until a patient is old enough to sign their own consent (18).

York Jay Yates, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 175 reviews

17 and breast implants

Usually one waits until they are fully grown.  17 is not an absolute contraindication, howver it is a bit youn.  At this age you m ay only be able to have saline implants. Silicone can be used at age 22.  If you have a breast deformity, then it possibly can be done.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

I'm Young, Soon to Be 17, and I Was Wondering the Legal Age to Get Breast Implants?

I read not medical issue with your breasts, so by implant company and FDA guidelines you can have SALINE at age 18 and SILICONE at age 21. You can call the implant companies to discuss or goggle their websites. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Age for Breast Augmentation

The normal development of Breast can start anywhere from 10 to 15 years old.  If a young lady has not  begun her menstrual cycle, we would have a medical evaluation performed for her.

If she has otherwised developed hormonally and has gone through puberty, we would evaluate her breast development.  If she had one sided breast deelopment, she may have Poland syndrome, an if her opposite side developed - a decision would be made regarding wether she had full devloment on that side.

If the patient has inadequate development on both sides - one would generally wait until the patient is 18 years old.  Silicone implants, accordng to the FDA, are not to be use for cosmetic augmentation until the patient is 22 years old.

Call a Board Certifiec Plastic to discuss your situtation

Richard Greco, MD
Savannah Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

FDA Approved Breast Silicone Breast Implants For Women Over Twenty-Two

The FDA approval for silicone breast implants was for women over twenty-two.  This age restriction is not based on any science, but probably was political.  Your private plastic surgeon may wish to alter these age restrictions.  For the companies that make the implants, they may be fined if they market, or advertise to teenagers.  The FDA does fine companies for off-label marketing.

You private doctor may choose to perform off-label, off-FDA recomendations for your surgery.

DIscuss this with your parents and see if they will accompany you to a plastic surgeon for a consult.

Legally, under 18, you would mostly likely be under the age of consent for an operation such as this on your own.

Keith Denkler, MD
Marin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Too young to get implants?

Hello! This is a difficult question as you may have a genetic physical problem that is causing this. In general, it is better to wait until you understand the procedure better, your goals, and your timing of children. Visit several reputable plastic surgeon and discuss this with them!

Thomas T. Jeneby, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 32 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.