Procedures

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Teen Breast Augmentation

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recorded doctors performed 3,841 teen breast augmentations in 2003, a 24 percent jump from 2002. The number of teenagers who are having plastic surgery is on the rise, although they still make up a small portion of all patients.

Risks of Teen Breast Augmentation

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommended the surgery only for teens 18 and older. Experts caution those teens that get breast implants should not make the decision lightly. Often additional surgery is necessary within five to 10 years, and women may experience breast pain, breast hardness and numbness in the nipple area after surgery. Teen breast augmentations will not last a lifetime. Because of rupture or other complications, most women will need to have the implants removed and likely will need additional doctor visits, operations or removals because of one or more complications.

Women who have implants removed may experience dimpling, puckering, wrinkling, breast tissue loss or other undesirable changes. Health insurance typically doesn't pay for the teen breast augmentation or corrective surgeries for problems that may arise. Teen breast augmentation may also interfere with a mammography, obscuring 22 to 83 percent of breast tissue, according to a study by the Food and Drug Administration.

The Mental Health Benefits

Over the last few years, teen breast augmentation has become more common and is a popular solution for a boost of self-confidence. Across the country, parents are buying their teen breast augmentation as graduation presents, and some mothers even get augmentations with their daughters. Although teen breast augmentation can give some women a boost in confidence as they enter college or the workplace, complications can occur.

Teen breast augmentation should generally only be considered in certain cases. Being a teenager and having anything that makes you feel like you are different is extremely difficult. Teenagers with breast asymmetries often hide this condition and are extremely embarrassed about it. This is a condition where doctors and psychologists support teen breast augmentation. Teenagers sometimes mention to their mothers that something is different about one of their breasts, and the mother often will downplay this saying that most women are slightly asymmetric, while in fact the teenager is trying to tell the mother that she has a significant problem. Teenagers tend to feel isolated but often have a noticeable improvement in their personalities following teen breast augmentation, becoming more outgoing and more confident. It is for these reasons that it is important to early identify any breast anomalies and to further the teenagers receiving treatment.

Solutions for Teens Who Are Still Developing

Acute cases of breast asymmetries may see a difference of several cup sizes, however even milder asymmetries are often very stressful for the teenager. As soon as a significant discrepancy in breast size is noted, the under-developing breast can be augmented with placement of a tissue expander. The tissue expander can remain in place throughout the teenagers developing years and serially inflated as needed, to keep symmetry between the two breasts. Once breast development is completed on the opposite side, the tissue expander can be removed and a permanent saline implant can be placed.

Correction of breast asymmetry has been associated with relatively few complications. The overall positive response to teenagers undergoing this surgery has been overwhelming. Due to the intense psychological effect of any breast anomaly, the earlier the diagnosis is made and the child receives treatment, the better off for all involved. There is no reason to delay treatment until the teenager reaches full development, as this only further prolongs the psychological difficulties of the teenager.