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Breast Implants Should Be Adult Matter

New industry policy says teens have to be 18 to have cosmetic breast surgery

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 29, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Cosmetic breast augmentation should be restricted to women aged 18 and older, says a new policy adopted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

The new policy is in response to recent media reports about teenage girls seeking purely cosmetic breast enlargement. The policy is consistent with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's rules regarding saline-filled breast implants for women at least 18 years old.

"Contrary to popular belief, people 18 and younger make up only 4 percent of all cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. Although the numbers have increased over the years, teens continue to be a small percentage of the plastic surgery population," ASPS President Dr. Scott Spear said in a prepared statement.

"Nevertheless, the ASPS leadership felt a responsibility to more than just quietly comply with the FDA. We want our members and the public to see how strongly we feel about teenage cosmetic breast augmentation," Spear said.

The policy outlines various abnormalities that may require breast augmentation such as trauma, disease and inherited problems. The policy requires plastic surgeons to determine if potential patients are emotionally and physically mature enough to have the surgery.

Patients also have to understand potential risks and complications and have realistic expectations about the outcome.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about breast implants.

SOURCE: American Society of Plastic Surgeons, news release, December 2004
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