Thank you for your question. This is a very pertinent question for patients or parents considering breast augmentation. Because the changes from plastic surgery are often dramatic and permanent, it is important to have an understanding of how surgery can have an effect on you both physically and psychologically and also how age or its milestones can affect the longevity of your augmentation.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), breast augmentation is the most popular plastic surgery procedure and it sees constant increase year-on-year. Breast augmentation not only adds volume and changes the shape of the breast and body, but in many instances, give individuals more self confidence and a better outlook on life. Many women wonder what the ideal age for breast implants is, and this question troubles some parents too. In Singapore, the minimum age for saline implants is 18 years old and 22 years old for silicone implants unless there is a medical need for breast surgery. Although women of all ages from 18 to 70 years old can have breast augmentations done, the ASPS states that the average age of patients who undergo this type of surgery is 34. I find that is quite similar for my practice. Here are some of the considerations that matter when it comes to selecting the timing for surgery.
Physical and emotional maturity
Physical Maturity - Breast augmentation surgery can only be performed after puberty and when the breasts are fully developed. Even women of the same age may be at different stages of breast development and this may force some potential patients to prolong getting a breast augmentation.
Emotional Maturity - Plastic surgery - be it cosmetic or reconstructive - is supposed to make a better version of yourself, and to promote a strong positive self-image. Because the changes resulting from plastic surgery are often dramatic and permanent, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of why you are having the surgery, how surgery might make you fee and have realistic expectations. It is essential that women have carefully thought about the reasons why they want a breast augmentation. Most importantly, patients should always choose to undergo breast augmentation surgery for their own benefit, and not because of pressure from others.
Parents may face considerable confusion and anguish in making surgical choices for their children, or when their children show a desire to change or correct a physical characteristic.
For reconstructive procedures, the benefits of early treatment are usually quite clear. However, in elective cosmetic procedures like breast augmentation, the choices may be more indefinite. Parents need to keep in mind that feelings about self-image tend to change with maturity, and that cosmetic surgery should never be forced on a teenager, nor should a teenager force an issue which a surgeon feels is not an appropriate cause for surgery. My advice on this would be to have a consultation together with parent and patient so that everyone can understand the issues at hand and both parent and patient can also be educated about the plastic surgery journey.
Although breast implants will not affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant or breastfeed, the effects of pregnancy, such as weight gain or stretched gain can have an adverse effect on the breast augmentation. A revision breast lift may be needed to restore the shape of the breasts after a woman is finished having children.
General considerations for Timing of Surgery
Plastic surgery can impose stress - both physical and psychological and this is in addition to which we encounter on a daily basis. Hence, it’s important that surgery is timed at a point where you are emotionally prepared and you don’t have additional physical or emotional burden. In my experience, patients who go into surgery feeling preoccupied or pressured with other matters face longer and more difficult recovery periods.Hope this answers your question.
Dr Terence Goh
MBBS (Spore), MRCS (Edin), MMed (Surg), FAMS
AZATACA Plastic Surgery
38 Irrawaddy Road #06-48
Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
Thank you for your question. There isn't an ideal age that suits everyone, but there are certain times that women will consider having their breasts augmented.
The youngest it should be considered is after the breasts have fully matured which is usually around 18 to 20 years of age. At this age you will be able to see whether you are satisfied with the size of your bust or you would like to be bigger. Any time after this would be appropriate.
Another common 'age' is after women have had children and breastfed. During breast feeding, the breasts are bigger due to the milk produced. When breast feeding ends, the breasts will usually shrink to smaller than what they were prior to breastfeeding. They may even droop. This is a good time to consider breast augmentation as well as other procedures such as a tummy tuck to get you back to your pre-pregnancy shape.
The benefit of having the procedure done earlier is that you will have the benefits for longer, however, implants don't last forever and you may have to change them after about 20 years.
One option that is getting more popular is fat grafting to the breasts. This is a great option for those that don't want a big change in size or for those that don't want implants. The results are permanent and there's no need to change implants in the future.
The most important factor to consider is your own desires, make sure you are doing it for yourself and not because your partner wants you to do it.
Hope this helps!
Dr Christopher Chui
MOUNT ELIZABETH NOVENA SPECIALIST CENTRE
#06 - 48 Singapore 329563
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