Are you in your 50s and planning to have breast augmentation or breast revision surgery? If you are, congratulations: You’ve picked a good time to boost your curves, but there’s a few things you’ll need to know before booking your consultation.
A Guide to Breast Augmentation for Those 50 and Over
The good news about breast augmentation surgery is that it has no specific age limit. While breast augmentation is an invasive surgery, it’s a procedure that’s been performed for decades, and the best surgeons have extensive experience with breast surgery. As such, a person’s health rather than their age is a better indicator of whether they can undergo the procedure. In order to make a good candidate for breast augmentation surgery as a 50-plus woman, you’ll need to meet the following criteria:
- You will have to be in good overall health. Before having surgery, you’ll need to be within 30 pounds of your ideal weight and a nonsmoker. If you have unsuccessfully tried to quit smoking in the past, talk to your doctor about using a nicotine patch for three weeks before and after your surgery. Smoking cessation prior to surgery is extremely important for patients because tobacco smoke limits the body’s supply of oxygen, thereby suppressing its ability to regenerate injured tissue. Because people over 50 already tend to heal slower than younger people, the added hindrance created by smoking can greatly increase the risk of complications.
- Before booking a consultation, you’ll need to have a complete medical exam in order to rule out common age-related conditions like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. You should also talk to your doctor about any medications you are taking in order to make sure they won’t interfere with your surgery.
- You’ll need to have a mammogram prior to surgery. If you have not had a mammogram in the last few years, you’ll need to schedule one before having breast augmentation surgery. Most reputable plastic surgeons will not perform breast surgery on women over 50 who have not had a recent mammogram.
Breast Augmentation with Lift
You should talk to your doctor about combining your breast augmentation with breast lift surgery. The vast majority of women over 50 require a breast lift; having augmentation surgery alone probably will not be enough to correct the issue of age-related sagging. This is especially likely if you have had children or have been overweight in the past. Because both breast augmentation and breast lift surgery require a substantial investment of time (for recovery) and funds, many patients prefer to have these procedures performed at the same time.
The above is possible thanks to an innovative surgical technique known as the breast augmentation with lift. During this procedure, loose skin is removed, the breasts are repositioned, and implants are inserted (the nipples may also be repositioned, as necessary.) Sutures are then used to close all of the necessary incisions and the patient can heal from both the lift and the placement of implants at the same time. This takes two to three weeks on average, about the same amount of time it would take to heal from just augmentation surgery or lift surgery. Combined lift-augmentation surgery therefore cuts down the patient’s total healing time and reduces surgical costs as well.
You should be aware that it’s possible—and even recommended—to have breast augmentation surgery if you’ve undergone a mastectomy. Reconstructive breast augmentation surgery (using implants) is a viable alternative to fat transfer breast reconstruction surgery. Some patients prefer reconstructive augmentation because it doesn’t require the removal of tissue from a donor site. The surgeon will not have to remove tissue from your abdomen in order to create a new breast flap if you choose to have implants inserted. As such, your risk of scarring and other complications will be reduced.
It’s important to understand that modern gel and saline implants are completely safe, even for patients who have a history of cancer. Breast implants do not cause cancer and are made from biocompatible substances. In addition to being physically safe, they confer important psychological benefits, too. Women who have their breasts restored following a mastectomy find that they are better able to put their cancer experience behind them and move forward. They also typically report feeling more “whole” and confident.
Finally, don’t forget that the key to a successful plastic surgery experience is selecting the right plastic surgeon. Make sure your chosen surgeon is board-certified, a member of one or more reputable plastic surgery societies, and experienced. Moreover, you should verify that he or she has performed breast surgery on patients who are 50 and older. By reviewing the surgeon’s past work on mature patients, you can get a better idea of the kind of results he or she will be able to achieve. Want to work with a compassionate, experienced surgeon who can tailor your breast augmentation to your unique needs? Contact Livingston Plastic Surgery now, to learn more about what breast augmentation can do for you.