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Is There an Age Limit for Breast Augmentation?

Ava Lawson | May 11, 2018 | Posted in Breast Augmentation
Dr. Thomas Loeb NYC breast implant

Enhancing the bust line with breast implants is among the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the United States. For women of all ages, breast augmentation can truly help build confidence and promote a more positive body image. For others, surgical augmentation is an effective means to restore self-esteem after injury or mastectomy. The FDA has approved three types of implants for breast augmentation and reconstruction: saline-filled implants, silicone implants, and form-stable, or “gummy bear” implants.

Here at the New York plastic surgery office of Dr. Thomas Loeb, one of the most common questions we field concerns the best age for having breast augmentation. Are there any restrictions or age limits for the procedure? Can you be too old or too young for breast augmentation in the U.S.?

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Yes, health authorities have placed age limits on breast augmentation, dependent on the type of implant chosen.

Breast augmentation: saline vs silicone age limits

According to the FDA, saline-filled breast implants are approved for breast augmentation (primary augmentation and revision) in women 18 years or older. Saline implants are also approved for reconstruction (primary and secondary reconstruction) in women of any age.

Women who are interested in silicone breast implants for cosmetic augmentation must be 22 or older, states the FDA. However, this age restriction is only limited to breast augmentation; patients requiring reconstructive surgery may have silicone implants at any age.

These age restrictions are in place because breast tissue continues to develop well into your early 20’s. There is also the concern that prospective patients may not have the emotional maturity to make an informed decision regarding potential complications.

Breast enlargement surgery should only be considered once development is complete. While some women’s chests will have reached maturity by the age of 17, others will continue to fill out their bras in their young adult years. If implants are placed too soon, it would be extremely difficult to choose the best size, shape and profile to complement body proportions.  Moreover, implants placed in developing tissue may lead to sagging, loose skin, thus hampering aesthetic results.

How old is too old for breast augmentation?

The FDA places no upper age limit for breast augmentation surgery. The reality is that most women over the age of 40 have realistic expectations about what implants can do for them. Most women in their middle-aged years are more concerned about the toll of gravity, aging and breastfeeding, as skin begins to sag, volume is lost and the breasts droop downwards.

In cases where an implant alone will not produce good results, some women will benefit from a combination of breast lift and augmentation with implants. Most plastic surgeons will place the implants beneath the chest muscle, so as not to interfere with mammograms.

NYC breast augmentation surgeon

Ultimately, the best way to find out your candidacy for breast augmentation NYC is to speak with a highly experienced board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Loeb. For more information about our services or to schedule a one-on-one breast surgery consultation, please call our Fifth Avenue office at 212-327-3700.

Additional Breast Augmentation Age Resources:

  1. Cleveland Clinic Health Essentials, What You Should Know About Breast Implants After 40
  2. FDA, Breast Implants
  3. Real Self,  Do you have to be 22 to get silicone breast implants?
← Planning a Breast Augmentation? Know These Dos and Don’ts Breast Augmentation Checklist – Pre and Post-Op Tips →

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