Breast augmentation is the most popular elective surgery in the United States; nearly 150,000 women underwent the procedure in 2015. And it’s no surprise the surgery is popular. Breast augmentation can solve a number of problems, such as overly large breasts or asymmetry, but it also includes implant placement to enlarge small breasts, a feature that many women feel self-conscious about.
No matter the specific procedure, breast augmentation surgery is fundamentally about helping women feel emotionally and physically more in tune with our bodies. That means when determining who is a good candidate for breast augmentation, surgeons need to consider not just physical suitability but also the individual’s emotional maturity – leading to the question, is there an ideal age for breast augmentation surgery?
If we had to narrow down an ideal age range for breast augmentation surgeries, women in their 20s and 30s would be at the top of the list. At these ages, women may be feeling the physical and psychological effects of overly large breasts and desire a reduction surgery, are done developing and may be unhappy with their small breast size, or wish to correct for asymmetry, nipple inversion, or other irregular shapes.
Regardless of the type of breast augmentation surgery desired, women in this age range are likely to heal well, have sufficient skin elasticity, and strong immune systems. All of this bodes well for procedure outcomes.
There are a few factors that women in their 20s and 30s should consider before going forward. Though unusual, breast augmentation surgeries can impact your ability to breastfeed in the event that you still plan on having children in the future. Surgery can also impact your breast sensation, an important factor in sexual pleasure.
Finally, and most importantly, having breast augmentation surgery means investing in your body for many years – you’ll likely need future surgeries to adjust the placement of implants, correct for shape, or address changes after weight loss, weight gain, or pregnancy. This is unlikely to be your only breast surgery.
Teens On The Table
Teens are having more surgical procedures than ever before, ranging from tummy tucks to rhinoplasty, but breast augmentation surgeries are especially popular – or at least in demand. This comes as no surprise since teenagers are very vulnerable to bodily insecurities and bullying, but it poses a problem since most aren’t done developing, physically or emotionally.
Because teens’ bodies are still changing, many young women who want breast augmentation at age 18, for example, may no longer want it at age 21 when their weight has stabilized; most women gain weight between 18 and 21. Additionally, between the ages of 21 and 25, young women mature emotionally; they become better able to assess the risks of these procedures and how much of their desire is fueled by the desire to fit in or look like women they see on TV.
With all this in mind, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends that all candidates for breast augmentation be at least 18 years old and that emotional maturity be carefully assessed. Teens simply aren’t ready for aesthetic surgery, barring an independent medical condition.
Aging And Breast Augmentation
For older women, breast augmentation is typically a long-considered option, often focused on correcting time’s impact on the body. This includes breast lifts for sagging breasts and shape changes due to weight gain or loss and breastfeeding. These are all excellent reasons to pursue breast augmentation and can allow women to enjoy their post-child bearing years with greater confidence.
There are only a few concerns for older women seeking breast implants. Though some worry that implants will interfere with proper mammography, the technology is generally good enough to get a clear scan. There is also a concern that older implants may rupture, but the risk is minimal.
The primary issue for older women seeking breast augmentation surgery is loss of skin elasticity – typically in those over age 50. Loss of elasticity can result in problems with suturing and increased scarring, but your surgeon can give you a better sense of your individual suitability.
There isn’t a single best age for breast augmentation surgery. Rather, for mature women, it’s up to you to work with your surgeon to determine what procedure is best.
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