Featured on CNN’s Headline News last week, board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Franklyn Elliott discussed the popularity of American teenagers receiving breast augmentation surgery as a high school graduation present. Just as he explained during the interview, the decision to undergo cosmetic breast surgery is not one to be taken lightly.
There are major medical implications with any surgical procedure, and plastic surgery isn’t any different. If a patient, especially one under the age of 18, decides to pursue plastic surgery, it is imperative that they only entrust a board certified plastic surgeon with experience performing the type of surgery in which they’re interested. Given the delicate nature of aesthetic surgery and the self image of adolescents, it’s even more important that parents actively participate in the selection of their child’s plastic surgeon. Parents and patients should feel comfortable during a consultation with their prospective surgeon and should be able to openly communicate their cosmetic goals to the surgeon to ensure satisfaction with their breast augmentation results.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery does not stipulate a minimum age for breast surgery; however, Dr. Elliott explains to patients (and their parents) that a majority of physical maturation should be complete before breast surgery as further growth and hormonal fluctuations associated with puberty can alter the appearance of breast surgery results. It’s also important for teenage plastic surgery patients to remember there are different breast implant choices for younger patients than older ones. The FDA has only approved saline implants for patients over the age of 18; those desiring silicone breast implants must be at least 22 years of age to legally receive the devices.