What is the Right Age for a Breast Augmentation?

Some patients undergoing a breast augmentation have been planning the procedure for years. Others have recently decided to undergo the procedure due to breast tissue changes following pregnancy or weight loss. Regardless of motive, those considering getting the popular procedure often wonder: What is the right age for a breast augmentation?

The truth is, there is no one size fits all answer to this question. Depending on motive, general health and other factors, the ideal age of a breast augmentation can vary from person to person. Below are a few specific reasons patients may decide to undergo a breast augmentation, and the typical age ranges in which they are often sought out.

1. Congenital Abnormalities
Some women’s breasts develop abnormally, resulting in an uneven or atypical appearance. Oftentimes, this is corrected to address physical discomfort caused by the abnormality as well as to restore confidence. This type of breast augmentation can occur at any age, but usually takes place after the breasts have fully developed. As a rule of thumb, a woman can undergo a breast augmentation with saline implants by the age of 18, and a breast augmentation with silicone gel implants at the age of 22.

2. Dissatisfaction with Appearance
Oftentimes, women are simply unsatisfied with the size, shape or appearance of their breasts. This is the most common reason for deciding to undergo a breast augmentation. Surgeons are able to correct any dissimilarities between breasts and enhance the size of the breasts to that of the patients liking. Due to legal restrictions, the minimum age for this procedure is 18 for saline implants and 22 for silicone implants. However, women can undergo this procedure at any age past 18 as long as they are in good health. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, however, the average age for women to undergo this type of procedure is 34.

3. Breast Changes from Having Children
Through pregnancy and breastfeeding, a woman’s breasts usually undergo many physical changes. Some women find that after having children, their breasts appear smaller or saggy due to breastfeeding or weight loss after pregnancy. A breast augmentation is a great way to bring breasts back to the state they were in before having children. Again, women can undergo this procedure at any age, but most women opt to have the procedure done in their thirties after they have decided they don’t want to have more children. It is entirely up to the patient to decide if she wants a breast augmentation before or after having children. However, waiting until after having children may create longer lasting results.

4. Breast Changes from Weight Loss
Like pregnancy related changes, significant weight loss or weight gain often results in stretched skin and sagging breasts. Women who have lost a good deal of weight and have a plan for maintaining their weight loss may consider a breast augmentation to create a more youthful, feminine appearance. This can be coupled with a breast lift if there is too much excess skin. Again, this procedure can be undergone any time after the age of 18.

5. Breast Reconstruction After a Mastectomy
In rare cases, breast cancer or the risk of breast cancer may lead a women to undergoing a mastectomy or a double mastectomy, removing the breast entirely. Women who have undergone a mastectomy often choose to have a breast augmentation to regain confidence and feel beautiful. While a mastectomy can occur at any age, this type of breast augmentation is usually reserved for women over the age of 40.