A difficult decision for any woman to make is when to have cosmetic surgery. Since most teenage girls know fairly early on how big their breasts are going to be, it is tempting to go for breast implants as early as possible just to keep up with other girls or to fit in. Now, for certain cosmetic procedures there are much better guidelines about age (for instance, a facelift is essentially meant for people who are starting to show signs of aging), but for breast augmentation, the situation is a bit muddy. It is understandable why a teenager would want to have perfect pair of breasts right in high school just because the pressure to look good is intense. Thankfully, plastic surgeon Dr. George Lefkovits of Park Plaza Plastic Surgery resolves the dilemma and lays out all the important issues involved.
He points out that there are actually two federal laws that regulate this. A 2000 law states that it is illegal for a minor to have breast augmentation surgery unless it is for valid medical or reconstructive purposes. Another 2006 ruling declares that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 22, even in instances of reconstruction, to have silicone breast implants placed. In summary, according to the law, a girl needs to be at least 18 to get implants and at least 22 to get silicone implants.
Dr. Lefkovits explains the logic behind these sensible laws. One, even though it seems that your breasts are not growing fast enough as a teen, the reality is that they will continue developing into your early 20s, though it must be pointed out that the rate of growth does slow down after 17 or so. According to him, the emotional maturity of teen girls may not prepare them for understanding the risks and complications that may arise.