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The Gift Of Breast Enhancement: A Guide For Parents Of Teenage Girls

by Caitlin Obara

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgical procedures, and adolescents under the age of 18 makeup roughly 1.5% of all breast augmentations. Occasionally, parents decide to offer breast augmentation as a gift to their teenage daughter, usually as a graduation present or for their sixteenth or eighteenth birthday. If you are considering offering to pay for breast enhancement as a gift to your daughter, there are several things you should consider. 

Not All Doctors Work With Patients Below 18 

Puberty covers a wide age range for girls. While some girls finish their development while they are still preteens, others do not even begin their development until they are well into their teenage years. For this reason, it can be difficult to determine if your daughter has finished the natural development of her breasts. Many surgeons will wait until a patient is 18 before they agree to do their breast enhancement surgery, and if your daughter wants silicone implants as opposed to saline implants, she may have to wait longer, as the FDA does not recommend silicone implants until age 22

Informed Consent Is Important 

There are many aspects to informed consent, which include your daughter expectations for the enhancement and her ability to understand the risks. Some doctors may suggest that younger patients take longer to read information about their desired procedure and consider the results before they agree to do the procedure. In most cases, both you and your daughter will have to give consent for the procedure. If you share guardianship with another parent, they may also have to consent to the procedure before your daughter's doctor can proceed. 

It May Be Better To Wait For Your Teen To Express Interest

If your daughter's friends are having breast enhancement procedures, you may want to offer to pay for your daughter's procedure before she asks. However, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons suggests that it is best if the patient initiates and repeats a request for enhancement before one is offered to her. This allows her to make her own decisions about her body with as little pressure as possible. 

While the gift of breast augmentation may be a heartfelt gift for your daughter meant to give her more autonomy over her body as she matures, it is important that you encourage her to pursue developmental-appropriate options and make sure that she can give completely informed consent before pursuing surgical breast enhancement. For more information about the process, contact Center For Plastic Surgery.