Breast implant surgery can help some women attain the physique and silhouette they desire. The majority of breast implant candidates fall between the ages of 18 and 50, although enlargement procedures are sometimes completed on patients both younger and older than these ages. Women of varying ages typically choose to undergo breast augmentation for many different reasons. For example, some women may want to increase their breast volume simply because they desire fuller breasts, while others seek an enlargement procedure because pregnancy and breastfeeding have lead to reduced breast volume and sagging. It’s important to consider these reasons and other factors when deciding to undergo breast augmentation at a certain age.
Ages 18 to 20
A woman is usually first considered a candidate for breast implants starting at age 18. A plastic surgeon will want to ensure that younger patients have breasts that are fully developed, particularly since achieving the most natural-looking breast size with implants may be more difficult otherwise. Additionally, sagging and stretch marks may occur in breasts that complete development after the augmentation procedure.
Ages 21 to 35
Similar to patients aged 18 to 20, women in the lower spectrum of this age range should also ensure that their breasts are fully developed before undergoing breast implant surgery. The most significant consideration, however, is whether patients in this age range are planning on having children and breastfeeding.
Pregnancy causes breast tissue to expand and triggers milk production, which affect breast size and shape. However, once breastfeeding ceases, the breast tissues contract, which often results in reduced breast volume and skin laxity. While many women decide to undergo breast augmentation prior to pregnancy, these types of breast changes can still occur and may adversely affect the original results.
For this reason, women may enjoy a longer-lasting, aesthetically pleasing outcome when they choose to have breast implant surgery after they’ve finished having children and breastfeeding.
Ages 36 to 50
In some ways, this age group often contains the best candidates for breast augmentation because patients are more mature, their breasts are completely developed, and are more likely to be finished childbearing and breastfeeding. However, a large percentage of women in this age range gain weight. While weight gain may not necessarily exclude a woman seeking breast augmentation, it is important that patients are at least within 10 percent of their normal or goal weight before surgery and attempt to maintain a healthy weight post-surgery, otherwise results could be affected.
Another factor that patients aged 36-50 must consider is the affect that aging may have on their bodies. Over time, breast fullness, firmness, and skin elasticity decreases, particularly as a result of pregnancy, breastfeeding, and weight loss or gain. In these cases, a combination breast augmentation and breast lift – involving the removal of excess skin and the repositioning of breasts higher on the chest wall – may help a patient achieve the most aesthetically pleasing results.
Women beyond the age of 50 can certainly undergo breast augmentation, but it is important that patients are in excellent health. Additionally, these patients should have a strong grasp on the possible risks associated with breast augmentation, because risks can increase as the age of a patient increases.
Talk to a Plastic Surgeon
Consulting a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is the most important thing a woman of any age should do when considering breast implant surgery. A skilled and experienced surgeon will be able to outline all of the risks a patient may face based on her age and overall health, as well as determine what implant size and placement will offer the best overall results for her body type.