Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibilityWhat Age to Consider Breast Implants: What You Need to Know in 2024

What Age to Consider Breast Implants: What You Need to Know in 2024


    If you’re thinking about enhancing your breasts, you may wonder, “What’s the best age to get breast implants?” While there’s no single perfect age, important factors include physical maturity, personal readiness, and finding an experienced surgeon.

    A breast augmentation procedure involves surgically placing silicone or saline implants to increase breast size and fullness. Implants come in various sizes, shapes, and projections to customize results.

    Though a popular procedure, it’s still a major surgery that requires thorough research to make an informed decision. Let’s explore key considerations for determining the best age for your unique needs and goals.

    Understanding Breast Implants

    Breast implants are silicone shells filled with either saline or silicone to enlarge breast size. During a breast augmentation surgery, the surgeon places implants under the breast tissue or chest muscle through small incisions.

    You can choose between saline and silicone breast implants [1]:

    • Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water during the surgery for adjustable volume. They generally feel less natural than silicone implants.

    • Silicone implants contain viscous, pre-filled silicone gel for a natural feel. Silicone offers a wider range of sizing and texture options.

    Implants also come in different shapes and profiles [2]:

    • Round implants are circular and uniform in appearance, providing maximum fullness and cleavage enhancement. They project farther from the body than teardrop implants.

    • Anatomical “teardrop” implants are tapered at the top for a subtle, graduated slope. If you want a more natural look, this option may be for you.

    • Low, moderate, and high profiles indicate the amount of forward projection. High profile offers the most cleavage projection. The decision of  which one is best for you is determined during your consultation with the surgeon. Your native breast shape, size and your goals will be used to determine which one is best.

    Implants can dramatically improve breast size and appearance when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. But all surgery procedures come with risks, including breast implants. Potential complications include capsular contracture, implant rupture, loss of sensation, and asymmetry. Thoroughly researching your options and choosing the best doctor is crucial.

    Average Age for Breast Implants in the US

    According to Statistica, the average age for breast augmentation in the United States is 35 to 50 years. Women in this age range made up 46.4% of breast augmentations performed in 2019 [3]. But the right age depends on your circumstances.

    Age Requirements for Breast Implants

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved saline-filled breast implants for women 18 years and older. Women 22 and older can get silicone gel-filled implants for primary breast augmentation procedures. There’s no age limit set for breast reconstruction procedures [4].

    With that context, most plastic surgeons also recommend their minimum surgery ages:

    Age 16

    You may be able to get implants with parental consent, depending on the surgeon’s policies and state laws. But most will say it’s best to wait until full physical maturity around 18 years old [5].

    Age 18

    At the age of 18, you’re a legal adult. You no longer need parental consent to undergo breast augmentation. Before the surgery, your surgeon will ensure you understand the procedure, risks, and follow-up requirements.

    Ages 20-22

    Many surgeons suggest the early 20s as the minimum age unless the patient needs reconstruction sooner. This allows time to ensure physical maturation and breast development has fully stabilized.

    Remember: Physical maturity alone doesn’t determine readiness. Mental readiness is just as essential.

    Is There a Best Age to Get Breast Implants?

    Rather than one perfect age, the ideal time for implants depends on:

    • Physical maturation: Ideally, your breast development is complete

    • Mental readiness: You need a mature understanding of implants’ risks and commitment

    • Life stage flexibility: You need time to recover and maintain results

    • Finances: Having savings or a financing plan can be helpful as out-of-pocket costs range from $6,000 to $12,000 depending on where you live and who you go to [6]

    The best age aligns with your unique needs and circumstances instead of a rigid number. Deep self-reflection and an experienced professional opinion will guide you to the right decision.

    Physiological Considerations for Breast Implants

    Physical maturity and completed breast development are paramount before augmentation. During puberty, estrogen stimulates breast tissue growth. This continues into the late teens and early 20s for some women [7]. Augmenting too early can compromise results if breast size and shape still fluctuate.

    Implant placement also benefits from well-established soft tissue and muscle foundations. Waiting until full maturity ensures the best surgical results and implant position long-term.

    Psychological Readiness for Breast Implants

    Before committing to breast surgery, you should fully understand the realities of implants:

    • Follow-up care: You’ll need screenings and potential replacements

    • Risks: Complications like capsular contracture and infection are possible

    • Appearance changes: Pregnancy, aging, and weight fluctuations may change how your breasts look

    A mature, realistic mindset ensures proper expectations about the procedure’s lifelong effects.

    Financial Preparedness for Breast Implants

    On average, breast augmentation costs $6,000 to $12,000 out-of-pocket.

    Your exact cost for breast implants may vary depending on factors like:

    • Your surgeon’s experience level

    • Your geographic region

    • Post-op medications

    • Operating facility

    • Anesthesia fees

    • Implant type

    Potential revision surgeries, replacement implants, or other costs may arise later. Having savings earmarked or using financing can prevent financial stress.

    The Best Time: Personal and Professional Life Considerations

    The right age for breast implants is when life circumstances allow for proper recovery and self-care.

    • For students, school breaks provide recovery time without absences.

    • For working professionals, arranging time off for the initial 1-2 weeks gives time for a smooth recovery.

    • Having help at home is useful for limiting strenuous activity after the surgery.

    • Delaying or spacing out major life changes like pregnancy allows you to focus on results.

    A stable season of life with adequate support minimizes disruptions during recovery. This leads to better healing and long-term outcomes.

    Consultation With a Professional: The First Step

    Rather than picking an arbitrary age, a consultation is an excellent starting point for determining whether you’re a candidate for breast augmentation.

    You’ll get the opportunity to discuss with the surgeon and his team:

    • Your health profile and implant suitability

    • Lifestyle factors affecting optimal timing

    • Customizing options for your body and goals

    • Physical maturity status and recommendations

    • Expected physical, emotional, and lifestyle effects

    • An age recommendation based on the surgeon’s experience

    By relying solely on research, you may miss important criteria a surgeon would assess in person. An expert opinion considers your unique needs for remarkable outcomes.

    Types of Breast Implants To Consider

    Once you and your surgeon determine you’re a good candidate, you’ll discuss the implant types suited to your aesthetic goals.

    Saline Implants

    • Sterile salt water solution filled during surgery

    • Adjustable volume for precision

    • Uniform shape and firmness

    Silicone Implants

    • Pre-filled viscous silicone gel

    • Softer and more natural feel than saline

    • Variety of projection and shape options

    Structured Saline Implants

    • Inner structure to hold shape if shell ruptures

    • Less rippling than standard saline implants

    Gummy Bear Implants

    • Form-stable cohesive gel silicone

    • Retains shape even if shell ruptures

    • Natural contour

    • Solid consistency reduces the risk of rippling

    Round Implants

    • Circular shape

    • Maximizes fullness and cleavage

    • Most options in terms of sizing

    Smooth Implants

    • Thinner shell than textured implants

    • Outer surface has no texture

    • Moves freely within the implant pocket

    Textured Implants

    • Textured shell adheres to natural breast tissue

    • Holds shape better than smooth implants

    • Not as common these days as it’s associated with BIA-ALCL [8]

    The Procedure: What to Expect

    Understanding the full procedure process allows you to prepare for your breast augmentation and recovery.


    Your surgeon will assess your goals, health, and anatomy to craft a treatment plan. You’ll select your desired implant type, size, shape, and placement options.

    Preoperative Evaluation

    Any required lab screening or imaging takes place to ensure you’re healthy and eligible for surgery.


    Your surgeon will provide detailed pre-op instructions for activities, diet, medication adjustments, and other care.

    Surgery Day

    The team will ask you to sign consent forms and answer any last-minute questions you may have before the procedure. Right before surgery, a nurse will verify your vital signs and your surgeon will mark surgical sites.


    You’ll receive anesthesia. Then, your surgeon will make small incisions and insert the breast implants under the chest muscles or the breast tissue.

    Closing the Incisions

    Your surgeon will close incisions with sutures, surgical tape, or medical glue.

    Recovery Room

    You’ll wake up from anesthesia with a thick gauze, wrap, or compression garment in place. Expect to stay in the recovery room, monitored until stable (usually about 2 hours).

    Home Recovery

    Your surgeon will send you home advising rest and limiting activity for around 2-4 weeks. Cold compresses, medication, and gentle stretching alleviate discomfort.

    Follow-up Appointments

    You and your surgeon will monitor progress and results at periodic follow-ups after surgery. Attend these appointments to ensure a smooth recovery and optimal long-term results.

    Long-Term Result Evaluation

    You’ll need occasional screenings to ensure implant integrity and watch for potential complications.

    Why It's Important to Choose a Trusted Doctor

    Selecting the right plastic surgeon is imperative for achieving beautiful, natural-looking, and safe outcomes.

    Evaluate the following during the vetting process:

    • Board certification in plastic surgery

    • Years of focus exclusively on breast augmentation

    • Extensive before-and-after photo galleries to review

    • Surgical facility accreditations

    • Excellent patient reviews and testimonials

    • Customized care based on your unique goals and body type

    If you’re in Greater Los Angeles and ready for breast enhancement, consider visiting Burbank Plastic Surgery. With over 25 years of performing breast surgeries, Dr. Orloff leads the field through his dedication, artistry, and commitment to patients. He delivers subtle, natural-looking results tailored to your figure and aesthetic goals.

    Schedule a personalized consultation with Dr. Orloff and his team to explore your cosmetic surgery options.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Implants

    How long do breast implants last?

    Breast implants typically last 10-20 years before potentially needing replacement [9]. Some may last longer if you have no complications.

    Can I breastfeed with implants?

    Breast implants shouldn’t impact the ability to successfully breastfeed. But there’s no guarantee you’ll have a full milk supply. If you’re planning to have children, waiting until after to have breast augmentation may reduce the need for revisions later [10].

    Are saline or silicone breast implants better?

    Neither is necessarily better as they have different characteristics. Saline implants are firmer and generally cost less, but have higher chances of rippling and rupturing. Silicone implants are softer and feel more natural, but tend to be more expensive than saline.

    How long is recovery from breast augmentation?

    Recovering from breast augmentation looks different for everyone. Factors like implant type, size, and placement can affect the healing timeline. But generally, swelling and discomfort improve dramatically by 6 weeks post-op [11].

    How painful is breast implant surgery?

    Everyone has a different pain tolerance, so the degree will vary. You’ll be under anesthesia for the actual procedure. Afterward, your surgeon will provide medication to minimize soreness and tightness during the recovery.


    1. Breast Implants: Saline vs. Silicone, MayoClinic

    2. Breast Implant Shapes, Washington University Physicians

    3. Distribution of Breast Augmentation Procedures Among US Women in 2019, by Age, Statistica

    4. Considerations in Breast Augmentation in the Adolescent Patient, National Library of Medicine

    5. Breast Augmentation for Minors, American Society of Plastic Surgeons

    6. How Much Does Breast Augmentation Cost? American Society of Plastic Surgeons

    7. Development of the Human Breast, National Library of Medicine

    8. Textured Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large-Cell Lymphoma, National Library of Medicine

    9. Will Your Breast Implants Last a Lifetime?, American Society of Plastic Surgeons

    10. Think You Can’t Breastfeed After Implants? Think Again, Johns Hopkins Medicine

    11. How Long Is the Recovery for a Breast Augmentation?, American Society of Plastic Surgeons