Breast Augmentation and Adolescence: When is it Appropriate?

Girls in today’s world are exposed to more body image related issues and information than ever before. This includes from well informed (and endowed) peers, exposure to countless magazines displaying a profusion of voluptuous female bodies, countless sexually overt TV shows, and limitless information and images from the internet. With particular emphasis on breast size, those that are or feel deficient often know what they need to do. Get breast implants!

Dissatisfaction with one’s body image, including breast size, is the norm for the adolescent female. During this period of time, they are growing physically and experiencing myriad psychological and emotional issues and variability. This translates into a period of exceptional instability during which it would not be prudent to consider most cosmetic surgery procedures.

At what age, then, would a girl/woman be an appropriate candidate for a breast enlargement surgery? Though there is not be an exact right or wrong answer given the variability in emotional, physical and intellectual maturation between individuals, my personal recommendation is to wait until 18 years of age except in unusual circumstances. For many reasons, I feel this is best for all parties involved.

There are exceptions, of course. Girls who have breasts of markedly different sizes where the disparities are difficult to camouflage or who have extreme under-development or congenital absence on one side would be candidates for surgery at an earlier age. Technically, these can be considered to be reconstructive procedures.

For further information on breast augmentation, breast implants or any other cosmetic procedure, you can contact my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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