Breast Augmentation for Women Over 40

Pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight changes, and aging take a toll on the body, especially the breasts.  Fortunately, advancements in plastic surgery have made it safer for women to undergo cosmetic breast procedures at an older age. Breast augmentation at our Columbia practice can address a variety of concerns that develop with age. In this post, I’ll discuss the common apprehensions of women who are considering breast enhancement after age 50.

Older Age

Is there an age limit for breast augmentation? Patients often think that they are too old to undergo plastic surgery, but the fact is age is one of many factors that determines if someone is a good candidate for cosmetic surgery. Most important is if the patient is in good overall health.

Most women older than 40 are finished having children. This is actually a great time to get breast enhancement because pregnancy can have a big effect on breasts. Any woman who’s had children can tell you that pregnancy and breastfeeding can dramatically change the size and shape of the breasts. Breast augmentation can restore the breasts’ volume but may make sagging even worse. A breast lift is often combined with implants correct sagging and deflated breasts caused by past pregnancies.

Another factor to consider is that women older than 40 are usually are more financially stable and have the means to get plastic surgery. Sometimes women who have wanted a breast augmentation for years are finally financially able to have surgery at an older age.

Recovery

Another major concern for women is recovery. Young patients often bounce back from surgery very quickly. As we get older, though, that ability to quickly recovery diminishes. However, as long as you are in good health and follow your surgeon’s pre-op and post-op instructions carefully, your recovery should go smoothly. It is also important to be honest with your surgeon during the consultation. The more you ask questions and disclose information, the better. I encourage my patients to never hesitate to call the office if they have any concerns about their procedures.

Skin Health

With age, skin loses elasticity. For women who are older or who have had children, we recommend not only breast implants, but also a breast lift. This can be done in one procedure and can help patients regain a more youthful contour for their breasts.

Because combining procedures can be more complicated than a breast augmentation alone, it is important to do your research and find an experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon.

Mammograms

Patients often wonder about the effect breast implants have on mammograms. Even though many women worry that a mammogram may cause their implants to rupture, that is extremely rare. The key thing to remember is to make sure the person performing the mammogram knows you have implants. The technician is trained to adjust the mammograms for women with implants. I recommend that my patients get a mammogram before their procedure. Typically, women with no family history of breast cancer should begin screening around age 40. However, women who have a strong family history of breast cancer should begin screening at age 30.  Your health and safety is our number one priority, so we believe it is better to be overly cautious.

If you have further questions about if you are a good candidate for breast augmentation, we recommend contacting your primary care physician and then giving us a call at (573) 443-5500 to schedule a consultation and discuss your options.

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John J. Seaberg, MD, FACS