Implants And Teenagers

As early as the 1990s, young girls were making international news for receiving a breast augmentation. The Independent, a UK newspaper, reported in 1998 that one 12 year-old girl received an augmentation because of social anxiety over her asymmetrical breasts. While implants like this are sometimes understandable (one of the girls’ breasts was a D cup and the other an A cup), many other cases of a breast augmentation at a young age are more brow-raising.

So, exactly how young is too young for a breast augmentation? We can mostly agree that 12 is much too young for this procedure, but how can you know when the appropriate time is? If you keep these factors in mind when considering a breast augmentation, you are more likely to have a positive augmentation experience, no matter what age you are.

Body Development

Consistently, research on female maturation reveals two numbers: 18 and 25. On average, the female body reaches maturity at age 18, and the brain matures at age 25. Both of these numbers are important to making breast augmentation decisions. Eighteen should be the lower bound for receiving a breast augmentation, but only if the procedure has been thoroughly discussed with family (to decipher general body development trends in the family) and a doctor (to see if the patient is actually fully matured).

But breasts do not stop changing after age 18, a fact that should also be taken into consideration when considering implants. Breasts change shape and size throughout a woman’s life. Pregnancy and breastfeeding an infant, for example, creates denser fatty tissues in the breast. Depending on genetics and your decision whether or not to breast feed, your breasts can become larger or shrink. Often times, breasts do not go back to their pre-pregnancy size.

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Mental Maturity

As previously mentioned, the female brain doesn’t fully mature until age 25. Getting breast implants until then could be risky because the decision might not be well thought out. A young woman might have the money for the initial payments for an augmentation, for example, but not the entire procedure, nor the follow-up appointments. Because she did not think this plan through thoroughly, it could cause her financial ruin.

Before getting an augmentation, you should be financially independent and stable—if you are the one paying—or have stable alternatives that will pay for your augmentation and any subsequent procedures. You should also realize that breast augmentation is not a fix all solution for body image issues. If you are unhappy with your body in other ways, you should concentrate on those before getting an augmentation.

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Future Finances

But breast implants are not just a one-time fee either. Breast augmentation is a procedure that requires regular check-ups and replacements. Women who are considering getting an augmentation should keep in mind the financial implications of this surgery. Post-surgical fees may include:

  • A big wardrobe shift (if the augmentation changes your shirt size)
  • Additional placement surgeries
  • Capsular contracture replacement
  • Leakage surgeries (especially if you have silicone)
  • Replacements, which are recommended for every 10-15 years