Breast enhancement procedures can help improve the size, shape, and symmetry of breasts. Most breast enlargement procedures are performed on women in their 20s and early 30s. While there is no perfect age to get a breast augmentation, there are some factors to consider that make some age groups preferable for this procedure over others.
Common Considerations Prior to Breast Enhancement Procedures
Before getting breast implants, it is important that the breasts are fully developed. This usually occurs by the age of 18 or in a woman’s 20s at the latest. A woman must be in good physical health to have cosmetic surgery such as a breast augmentation. Emotional maturity also plays a factor. A woman needs to be aware of how the surgical procedure will affect her body, her self image, and how others may react. Those considering a breast enlargement should also have realistic expectations regarding the procedure.
Women in their 20s are typically healthy and mature enough to make an informed decision regarding this procedure. However, women in this age group need to consider if they will get pregnant or breast-feed at some point later in life. Future pregnancy and nursing may result in enlargement of the breast tissue around the implant. When breast-feeding stops, the formerly lactating breast tissue may deflate. In some patients this results in laxity of the skin and may require a lift and skin tightening procedure to be performed. In terms of being able to breast feed, studies of women with breast implants demonstrated that 85% were able to breast feed normally, this is nearly the same percentage of women who can breast feed normally without breast implants. So implants when properly placed should not prohibit a woman in her twenties from planning a family in the future.
Women in their 30s have fully mature breasts and are typically in good physical health. By this age, women are generally mature enough to have realistic expectations over what breast implants will and will not accomplish. Many women in this age group have completed their families so there is little concern over future pregnancy or nursing issues.
Women in their 40s are ideal candidates for breast augmentation procedures due to physical maturity, emotional maturity, and completion of family. Physical health is still likely to be good. There is typically a greater awareness and understanding of both the positive and negative results that can occur with this surgical procedure. In this age group the potential for needing a breast augmentation with a lift (mastopexy augmentation) needs to be considered. As the normal breast ages, sagging and deflation of the breast tissue may not be addressed with an implant alone. Your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon is best trained to make this determination.
50s and Later
While those age 50 or over may still be good candidates for breast enlargement procedures, health becomes a growing concern. Even with good health, the risk of general surgical complications increases with age. This does not mean a person in their 50s cannot have surgery, but a preoperative workup needs to be more thorough. Coinciding health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure need to be under control. Your plastic surgeon may send you to your primary care doctor for a preoperative clearance. The results of breast augmentation surgery in this age group is just as satisfying for the patient as any other group. When choosing your surgeon, experience and understanding of these age relevant issues is important.