Having a breast augmentation performed by a skilled plastic surgeon can do wonders for a woman’s self-esteem at any age. Many women wonder when the time is right to get breast implants. At the Institute of Aesthetic Surgery in Celebration, FL, our team of world-class cosmetic surgeons performs this procedure on women of all ages, but there are some factors to take into consideration which we will look at below.
What Age Is Best for Breast Augmentation?
Is there an ideal age to get breast implants? The simple answer to this question is no, although patients must be at least age 18 in order to be considered for this type of surgery. We see patients even in their 60’s and 70’s who wish to improve their appearance with breast implants and/or a breast lift. If a person’s health is good, there is no reason why they can’t have a successful procedure and recovery process at any age.
While the average patient seeking a breast augmentation tends to be in their 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s, there is absolutely no rule against having this surgery performed at any adult age. The key is that the patient is in good overall health and has the physical and emotional maturity to undergo an elective surgical procedure of this nature.
Minimum Age Requirement
The reason that we will not consider individuals under the age of 18 for breast surgery is that a person must be fully physically developed in order to take advantage of this procedure. While puberty is usually complete by age 16, the breasts can continue to change for some time after this. By age 18, a young woman should be fully developed.
It is also worth noting that the FDA only approves saline implants for those aged 18 and over, and silicone implants for those aged 22 and over. If a young patient has a preference for silicone implants (which are considered equally safe), she must wait a few years longer.
Can a Person Be Too Old for Implants?
The main consideration for whether a person is a viable candidate for breast augmentation is their health status, not their age. More mature patients may have additional health issues to take into consideration, but there is otherwise no reason why a healthy individual over age 65 cannot take advantage of having breast surgery.
In the case of older patients, we do conduct a more thorough health screening and audit of any medications they might be on to ensure that surgery would be safe. It is also reasonable to expect that the recovery process might be slightly longer for an older person than for a young person, although this is not always the case.
Health Is the Most Important Factor
The fact remains that health, not age, is the key determining factor for whether a person will be a good candidate for breast augmentation. During the initial consultation, potential candidates must share all information about their current health status, medical history, and any medications they are taking.
It is also very important that patients give up smoking prior to having surgery performed. Smokers are less likely to do well in surgeries of any kind and are more likely to experience adverse outcomes following a procedure.
A person’s psychological health, as well as physical health, must be considered prior to surgery. A reputable doctor will want to ensure that a patient is not having breast augmentation for the wrong reasons, such as trying to achieve an unrealistic body image or to make a partner happy. In the case of young patients, we also want to make sure that they have the emotional maturity to make a decision about permanently changing their bodies.
When it is Advisable to Wait
In some rare cases, it might be determined during the consultation process that the patient is not ready at this time to have surgery. The decision may be age or maturity-related, but it might also have to do with unresolved health issues that could potentially get in the way of a successful outcome. Your doctor will not make this decision lightly and will give you advice on how you can better prepare to have a breast augmentation in the future.
What To Expect During and After Breast Augmentation
If it has been determined that you are a good candidate for breast implants, you may be wondering exactly what to expect during your procedure and throughout the recovery period that will follow. It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions for pre- and post-operative care to ensure the most seamless recovery and the best final result possible.
If you are taking any medications that are known to thin the blood, these will need to be paused before surgery. Likewise, it is a good idea to stop drinking alcohol until further notice. Regardless of your age, drinking plenty of water, eating well, and getting enough rest are essential in the days leading up to surgery to ensure that you are feeling your best when you go in for your procedure.
What Happens in the Operating Room
Depending on what was decided during your consultation, your surgeon will make an incision either under the arm, under the breast, or around the areola. If saline implants are used, an empty silicone shell will be inserted and then slowly filled with the correct amount of saline solution to achieve the size you requested. If silicone implants are used, these are already pre-filled with a silicone gel and inserted as-is.
The Recovery Process
Having reliable transportation to take you home, and someone to stay with you for the first day or two after surgery, is highly recommended. You will feel very groggy coming out of your procedure and will need some support. If you don’t have a friend or family member who you can ask for help, we can arrange for a private nurse.
Once home, self-care is key. Younger patients do have a tendency to recover more quickly from surgery, but regardless of your age, you will need to get plenty of rest in the days following your procedure. Sleeping in an elevated position (in a recliner, for example) is recommended. You should not lift anything heavy or exert yourself for a few weeks post-surgery. If you have a more physical job, you may need to take additional time off work.
How Soon To Expect Final Results
Patients who follow proper self care, get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and closely follow their doctor’s instructions for incision and breast care, can expect to recover much more quickly than patients who do not. You will be monitored closely during your follow-up appointments to make sure you are on the right track.
While you should begin to feel like your old self within a couple of weeks after surgery, it does take some time for your breasts to fully heal and settle into their final position. Patients who have had a combination of procedures can also expect their recovery time to take somewhat longer. It is realistic to expect that by the 3-to-4-month mark, your breasts will have fully completed the healing process.
Deciding if Breast Enhancement Is Right for You
Young patients may have different goals and expectations than more mature patients, but ultimately the purpose of breast surgery is to balance out the figure and to boost a woman’s confidence and self-esteem. Any woman who is physically and emotionally mature enough to make a decision that will have a permanent impact on her body may be a good candidate for this procedure.
Your doctor can help you decide if this is the right choice for you, based on your health profile and other factors. Some women know that they want surgery, but perhaps are thinking of waiting until after they are done having children, or until they are at a point where they can take more time off work. Whatever you decide, know that as long as you are healthy, and not pregnant or breastfeeding, there is no right or wrong time in life at which to have breast surgery.
Making the Decision To Improve Your Figure
If you are thinking about having a breast enhancement but aren’t sure if it’s the right time, it is never too soon to schedule a consultation to get some professional advice. Contact us today at the Institute of Aesthetic Surgery in Celebration, FL, so that we can give you an honest assessment of your suitability for this life-changing cosmetic procedure.