Breast augmentation is one of the most sought-after cosmetic surgeries not just in the US but also in many countries. In fact, it has been estimated that 5 to 10 million people have the procedure; they consisted of women who wanted to improve their appearance, post-cancer patients who had mastectomy, and transgender.
To date, many countries including the US require patients to be at least 18 years old before they can undergo breast implant surgery. But take note that this age requirement generally applies if you will have the procedure solely for cosmetic purpose—e.g., you want to increase your bust size.
By contrast, age requirement is not important if you will have the procedure as a way to treat developmental abnormalities.
You have to remember that patients between 18 and 21 can only have saline implants which are filled with a sterile saltwater solution. But when you reach the age of 22, you would be allowed to use silicone implants during your breast augmentation surgery.
The main reason why silicone implants require a higher age limit is because of the risk of rupture. To prevent serious complications, you will be required to undergo MRI screening at least every two years. By contrast, you will not need this if your implants are filled with saline, which in case of a leak, can be safely absorbed by your body, though your breasts will immediately appear somewhat “flat.”
While 18 years old can already have breast augmentation, many plastic surgeons believe that a woman should wait until she has reached her twenties because there is a likelihood that her breasts will further enlarge.
Imagine that if your breasts become larger after having plastic surgery, you may end up with a bust size bigger than what you really want. While you can always have revisions to downsize your implants or even remove them without replacement, this means additional expenses and possibly more scarring.
If you decide to have breast augmentation in your teenage years, you will likely need revisions sooner than later. Take note that breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime and are subjected to the natural wear and tear.
According to a data collected by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 65 percent of breast implant surgeries were performed on patients aged between 20 and 38, a clear indication that most women waited until their body has fully matured before they had the procedure.