Breast Deformities and Implants
Many of the general guidelines you’ll see in this article and elsewhere on the internet regarding teens and breast implants are focused on surgeries for cosmetic reasons only. For teens facing deformities or irregularities in their breast formation, breast implants as a teen, even before 18 can be the right decision. Correcting deformities can help teens feel more confident in their bodies and can allow medical expenses to occur while the teen remains on their parents’ insurance policy (which may or may not cover the procedure). Let’s take a quick look at two of the most common breast deformities that teens may face:
- Poland’s Syndrome – Poland’s Syndrome is a genetic disorder where the chest muscles are absent or underdeveloped and the corresponding breast is either small or absent. Breast reconstruction using implants can be very effective in providing cosmetic correction for this condition and is often appropriate for teens.
- Asymmetry – Breast asymmetry is a common condition with many women facing the problem to at least some extent. One study even found that 88 out of 100 women considering breast augmentation had some form of asymmetry. Although uneven breasts are common, they can cause teens to feel quite a bit of anxiety. If your teen has breast asymmetry, come see Dr. Sato and see what she would recommend. In some cases breast augmentation or breast reduction is the ideal solution while other times waiting for the breasts to fully develop is a better choice.
Am I Too Young for Implants?
Teenage bodies are still developing so it isn’t always appropriate to perform breast augmentation. Dr. Sato encourages patients to wait until they are at least 18, possibly later, before seriously considering breast augmentation. It is important to give your body and emotional health time to develop before making a permanent, body altering decision.
Once you’re 18 most breast development has probably occurred. If you’re unhappy with your breast size, it isn’t likely to dramatically change and breast augmentation may be needed. One advantage younger patients typically have are very healthy bodies which can lower the risk of complications and make recovery time shorter and easier. Teenage patients can also often skip the usually required mammogram unless there is a very strong family history of breast cancer.
Implants and Age
Dr. Sato offers both saline and silicone gel breast implants. In a typical breast augmentation the patient works with their surgeon to choose the best type of implant for their body and desired results. With younger patients this choice is sometimes already made by regulations. Saline breast implants are approved for use in patients over the age of 18 while silicone gel implants are only approved for those 22 and over. Teenage patients are limited in their implant choices. Teens pursuing breast augmentation for conditions like Poland’s Syndrome have more options than teens that are purely interested in breast augmentation to increase size.
Although teens aren’t able to have silicone implants, this doesn’t mean that they should wait for implants if they’re ready. Both saline and silicone can create excellent results in the hands of a skilled plastic surgeon like Dr. Sato.
Special Considerations for Teenage Patients
Teens have many physical advantages when undergoing breast augmentation since their bodies are young and healthy and their skin still retains much of its natural elasticity. Tight, firm skin can keep implants from sagging. This elasticity can make putting implants in more difficult in some smaller chested patients. If you have very little natural breast tissue we may need to use an expander to gently stretch the skin and muscle to accommodate an implant. This is an easy process, but may require an additional surgery and a few extra months for your implant surgery to be complete.
Dr. Sato also asks all of her patients, teen and older, to live a healthy lifestyle prior to surgery which includes not smoking.
If you’re a teen and considering breast augmentation, come see Dr. Sato. She can help you decide if you’re ready for implants or if you should wait a little longer. If you know you want breast augmentation, why wait? Come see us today!