In a Rich's-Macy's changing room, Amanda Ross smiles as she squeezes her sinewy body into an orange nylon tank top. Ross and Bellamy, friends ages 19 and 18, recently did something once unthinkable for women so young: They got breast implants. They joined a surge of American women, many of them teenagers, lining up for breast enlargement like never before. TV shows such as "Extreme Makeover" and "The Swan" make acquiring the body styles of the rich and famous seem routine. And many people under age 30 seem unaware of the claims by tens of thousands of women in the s linking silicone implants to lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases. The Food and Drug Administration banned silicone implants for cosmetic use in , and most implants today are filled with saline. Saline implants are considered safer, but they have silicone shells, and long-term health data remain sketchy. Frank Elliott of Atlanta Plastic Surgery, who has operated on nine women under age 20 this summer, more than double the number in all of last year. Win Pound, also a plastic surgeon in Atlanta, has noticed breast enhancements replacing cars as high school graduation gifts.
Can Teens Get Breast Augmentation?
Can I Get Silicone Implants as a Teen?
Nearly , breast augmentations were performed in , with adolescents under 18 years of age accounting for 4, procedures 1. Breast development typically starts at 11 years range, 8—13 years and is complete at 15 years range, 11—18 years. This wide age range for physical maturity matches the equally wide range of emotional maturity in this patient population. Developmental, psychological, and regulatory aspects unique to adolescent breast augmentation are reviewed. Self-image and societal influences must be considered, including both internal and external motivations for seeking breast augmentation. Preoperative assessment and counseling of these patients are discussed. Both parental consent and adolescent assent must be considered.
Surgical Technique and Complications
Last week we introduced you to a young woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was in college. Talking about your breasts in public as a young woman can be embarrassing, and doing it as a famous person is downright unheard of, at least until recently. But young women are also getting breast implants, though fewer are willing to admit it. The decision whether or not to have breast surgery is one that you, and possibly a parent, have to decide on with the help of a doctor.
Despite the fact that most breast augmentation patients are aged plus, we still receive a lot of interest in this procedure from young women and sometimes teens. In some cases this is well-founded, as normal breast development does not occur, or only partially occurs, for some females. In addition to development that may occur in the late teens, growth charts indicate that the average young woman gains weight between the ages of 18 and 21, and that is likely to change her desire or need for breast augmentation. A longitudinal study that followed Norwegian male and female individuals between 13 and 30 years of age found a significant growth in self satisfaction and positive body image as the participants progressed through the teenage years, followed by a general stabilisation of body image satisfaction in adulthood. This indicates that many adolescents who are dissatisfied with their appearance will feel more satisfied a few years later, whether or not they undergo surgery. It is also important to consider complications. Many women who have breast implants experience including infection, hematomas and seromas, capsular contracture, loss of nipple sensation and hypertrophic or keloid scarring.