Italy Considers Breast Implant Ban for Minors

Filed under: In The News

An Italian bill wants breast implants available to adults only. And possibly Little Mermaids. Credit: Disney

Teenage girls in Italy dissatisfied with their bra size may no longer be able to do something about it. The Italian parliament is considering a ban on breast implants for minors, according to published reports.

Girls younger than the age of 18 are currently allowed to have augmentation procedures if they have parental consent, according to UPI.

The implant bill was drafted and sent to the Italian Parliament by Francesca Martini, Italy's health undersecretary, in response, to an increase in the number of teenage girls who "feel inadequate" about the size of their breasts.

UPI quotes a study from the SWG research agency which found that "36 percent of girls in Italy under the age of 18 are not pleased with their appearance, with 17 percent particularly concerned with their breasts." Martini also is a defender of animals' rights, and recently slammed Italian television personality Beppe Bigazzi when he extolled the virtues of "tender, white cat meat" on a cooking show.In the United States, breast implants for augmentation (i.e., cosmetic surgery) are not FDA-approved for anyone younger than 18. Saline-filled breast implants used for augmentation are only approved for women 18 years or older, and silicon-filled implants for women 22 years and older, according to the FDA's Web site. Breast implants of either type are approved for women of any age if they are for reconstruction purposes.

"Although the FDA approved breast implants only for women ages 18 and older, there are no legal restrictions on the procedure. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has an official position against breast augmentation for most teens under 18, but there is no enforcement. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons has no official position regarding augmentation for teenagers," according to the National Research Center for Women and Families.

The FDA site points out that the "guidance documents" they publish "are often helpful to companies, [but] they do not create legal requirements." In other words, it may be possible to find a doctor who will perform implant surgery on a patient who is younger than the FDA-approved age.

In 2005, ABC News reported on an 18-year-old girl named Lulu Diaz who received breast implant surgery as a graduation gift. This is not the only time such a thing has occurred; a recent article in California's Folsom Telegraph discusses the same issue.

Related: Are Men Using Implants to Get the Perfect Chest?

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