If you’ve been thinking about breast augmentation but are worried you’re too young or too old, rest assured age is a very small piece of the puzzle. At The Plastic Surgery Center in Sarasota, FL, we don’t believe women should forego the bodies they want simply because of a number. Instead, more emphasis should be placed on factors like your physical health and reasons for surgery.
What Is the Best Age for a Breast Augmentation?
You should first understand that saline implants are FDA-approved for women 18 years or older, while silicone implants are indicated for women 22 years or older. Once you’ve reached the appropriate age limits for the implants you want, you’re free to move forward with the surgery.
Now that the legalities have been dispensed with, we can tell you women from ages 25 to 65 choose to have a breast augmentation (BA). In other words, implants are not associated with a “best” age. The number of years you’ve accumulated should play very little part in your decision to get implants. Far more important are your mental and physical health – and your reasons for wanting a BA in the first place.
Little More Than a Number
Let’s talk about maturity for a moment, which must be considered when speaking of implants. We mean both physical and emotional maturity. Some women bloom later than others with breasts that continue developing into their mid-twenties. It’s important you wait until your body has completely finished growing before scheduling your surgery, meaning you may need to wait longer than others.
Think About Your Why
Emotional maturity is a little harder to define. The decision to get implants is one that’s very personal. You need think about your goals and why surgery is right for you. For instance, an emotionally mature woman ready to handle the BA surgery and recovery wants implants to make herself happy.
But a woman choosing implants for her partner or because she thinks others will find her more attractive likely is not emotionally mature. This is an important consideration, and our office will speak to you about your reasons for surgery to ensure you’re a strong candidate.
A Brief Data Review
If you’re on the fence about a BA, it might be helpful to see what women in a range of age brackets are choosing. Take a look at the following data for 2018, provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons:
- Women aged 20 to 29 accounted for 29% of all breast augmentation procedures
- Women aged 30 to 39 accounted for 37% of these procedures
- Women aged 40 to 54 accounted for 29% of these procedures
Between the ages of 30 and 55, women are usually settled into their careers and likely to be finished having children and breastfeeding. Alternatively, these women may have reached the decision to not have kids and simply want a more youthful profile. Last but not least, women aged 30 to 55 are physically and emotionally mature enough to make decisions for themselves. They know what they want and are pursuing surgery to fulfill their own needs.
Generally speaking, we recommend teens wait until they are at least 18 years old to get breast implants, unless a special circumstance warrants surgery sooner. The human body doesn’t fully develop until the late teens, and many girls gain weight between the ages of 18 and 21. This can affect breast size, and it’s best to wait until breasts have stopped growing so the implants remain proportionate with the rest of the body.
Emotional reasons also factor into this recommendation. Young teenagers may lack the emotional maturity to fully commit to implants. They may not follow our recommendations for rest and relaxation and, in turn, interfere with their results. Consent is another issue to consider; parents must provide the necessary authorization for a 16- or 17-year-old to undergo surgery.
During puberty many teens feel unhappy with their changing bodies, but this sense of discomfort is not usually best treated with a physical solution. The vast majority of teens who experience dysphoria find that it eases as they get older, and this is the sort of occasion where counseling may also help. Of course, if they are still unhappy with their appearance in their later teens or early twenties, then breast implants are an option.
Is Any Age Too Old?
As a society, we tend to think that women stop caring about their appearance after a certain age – say, 40. But this is absolutely not true. Older women often choose to get breast implants because they want to feel more confident in their own skin. Implants can improve the size, shape, and fullness of breasts, make them more proportionate, and even improve symmetry. But depending on a woman’s age, she might think she’s too old for BA.
So, is 55 the cut-off? Or 65? The truth is this surgery does not pose an upper age limit. We’ll repeat our earlier statement: what matters more is your physical health. Many older women are healthy enough to successfully have surgery and are then thrilled with their results. And women over the age of 40 consider BA for reasons that are quite different from those of younger women. To illustrate, they often want to:
- Restore a more youthful shape
- Regain lost volume
- Improve their feminine curves
- Choose from a wider range of clothing
Mammograms Won’t Be Affected
Women over age 40 often sometimes how their implants will affect mammogram results. We’re happy to say that in most cases, the implant don’t interfere with imaging abilities.
You can help by letting the facility or clinic know you have implants ahead of time. The technician performing the imaging can then take pictures from different angles to obtain the most accurate pictures possible. In addition, the mammography machine will not squeeze or damage implants, meaning it’s perfectly safe to proceed with the test.
The Addition of a Breast Lift
As a woman ages, her breasts tend to naturally sag. This is owed to different factors, including hormonal changes, gravity, and genetics. Weight gain or loss and diminishing skin elasticity also contribute. Many times, sagging causes the nipples to point down rather than out.
With this in mind, women over the age of 40 commonly choose to combine a BA with a breast lift. The latter restores shape and position so the breasts sit higher on the chest wall. In combination, the two procedures can rejuvenate breasts so they appear fuller, perkier, and more youthful-looking. This might be the ideal option for you based on your age and the physical appearance of your breasts.
A Few Final Details
Implants last a long time, up to 15 years or more. Depending on your age when you get them, they may even last a lifetime. We’ll monitor your implants to ensure they continue meeting your lifestyle and aesthetic needs. If they need to be replaced at any time, we’ll develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.
Having said that, you should know recovering from BA surgery is relatively quick and easy. You will need to take some time away from work to properly heal, but patients generally feel like their old selves in just a few days. Everyday routines can be resumed in one or two weeks, and you can usually engage in exercise and strenuous physical activity after four to six weeks.
Improved Materials and Techniques
Today’s implants are better than ever, providing women with a very natural look that emphasizes their feminine beauty. New implant options include those that are teardrop-shaped to mimic the contours of natural breasts more closely. They provide more fullness at the bottom and taper toward the top. New silicone gels also look and feel like real breast tissues. The bottom line? You have plenty of options to meet your aesthetic goals.
Surgical techniques are also vastly improved, and an experienced provider can help you choose the right implant and incision during your consultation. After the surgery, you can look forward to very smooth, youthful-looking results.
Forget About Age
Don’t let age stand between you and the body you want. Breast augmentation can improve the shape, size, and symmetry of your bust, and thanks to medical advances, your results will look soft and natural. Whether you’re 25 or 65, now is your time. Schedule your consultation today by contacting The Plastic Surgery Center in Sarasota, FL.