Breast implants were first introduced in the early '60s. After five generations of improved technologies, it is the most popular cosmetic surgery among women across the United States. Hundreds of thousands of procedures are performed each year.
Cancer patients receive breast implants post-mastectomy, and women receive implants to feel more confident; however, there is an increase in teens who ask for breast implants for their high school graduation gift.
"I don't perform breast augmentations for cosmetic reasons on anyone younger than 18 years of age," said William Reno, MD.
Paul Talbot, MD, says he's seen seventeen year olds go to his office to ask for implants. His answer is always "no."
"This is not a present like buying someone a car," said Petra Schneider-Redden, MD.
Greater consequences are associated with teens under the knife.
"You can get bleeding just like any operation," Reno said.
"Infection, just like any operation, more specific to the augmentation, has potential to leak."
"If they're not mature enough, they may not understand the consequences of their surgery," Schneider-Redden said.
The average age of breast implant patients falls under the late teen to early 40s range.
Dr. Schneider-Redden says her happiest patients are those who receive breast reduction surgery.
"Peer pressure is very difficult, and large breasted girls are going to get a lot of teasing. Breast reduction is a great example of our happiest patients, because they're usually in the most pain before they undergo a reduction."