Breast augmentations remain one of the most common procedures performed by plastic surgeons. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, about 316,000 breast augmentations were performed in 2011. While the procedure is popular, at what age is it appropriate for the procedure to be done? CNN recently spoke with a high school graduate that opted to enhance her cup size before going to college. The parents of the 18-year-old girl supported the decision. It begs the question, how young is too young for cosmetic surgery?
Madison Landis, the teen that received the breast augmentation as a graduation present told CNN, “I feel like it will make me more confident for college and less insecure about myself.” Landis’ parents, who paid for the procedure, said the agreed to it to help their daughter’s self image. “It’s something she felt really strongly about,” Madison’s mom, Tonya Everett, told the news source. “She’s 18 and it’s her body, so we’re willing to support her decision.” The Landis family isn’t alone. One plastic surgeon says cosmetic surgeries are becoming a common gift for teens. “You see it around graduation,” one plastic surgeon told WomensENews.com. “You see it around holidays and spring break, especially around the Christmas season.”
Many plastic surgeons will not operate on a teenager younger than 18, and many encourage the decision to be reached with parents. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, about 5,000 breast augmentations were performed on patients under the age of 18 in 2011. That’s about 1.5 percent of the 316,000 breast augmentations performed last year. Patients ranging in age from 19-34 account for 50 percent of all breast augmentations completed last year.
Surgeons worry about performing procedures on young patients. “Before I perform any procedure, I carefully and thoroughly evaluate my patient’s health and personal motivations for the surgery,” said one doctor in a recent statement. “I conduct this analysis to ensure that my patient is physically healthy and also to make sure that her motivations are realistic.
“As a board-certified plastic surgeon, I am committed to providing my patients with the highest level of safety and quality. If a teenager told me that she wanted a procedure like breast implants at my Harrisburg, PA practice, I would talk with her in-depth about her motivation.” Gayner says he would also question the parents. “Mothers should protect their daughters and instill confidence in them,” Dr. Stratis says. “Then they can make sound decisions for themselves when they reach adulthood.”
Every patient, regardless of age, should discuss the motivation behind the procedure along with expected outcomes with a board-certified surgeon before scheduling any procedure. Call Dr. Kincaid today, a San Diego plastic surgeon, at 951-695-9934.