Dr. Patti Flint

Breast Augmentation and the Older Woman

Beautiful, shapely breasts are not just for younger women. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that nearly one-third of all breast augmentations are performed on women over the age of 40. There is no correct age for breast enhancement because the greatest factor in this or any surgical decision is a woman’s health, not her youth.

Because the contours of breasts change over time, I often combine breast augmentation and breast lifting to achieve a successful augmentation for women over 40. When the breast tissue has begun to sag, a breast lift helps maintain the shape of the enhanced breast over time. One important goal is to position the breasts at the appropriate level on the chest wall. If the nipple falls below the fold underneath the breast, a breast lift should be considered.

To ensure long-lasting, natural-looking results for all my breast augmentation patients, I have established rigorous standards in my practice. Not all breast implants or surgical procedures are created equal. I only utilize methods that I have seen provide enduring results, no matter the age of the patient. I place all breast implants underneath the chest wall muscle. The implant is supported better in this position and does not weigh down the breast. This approach reduces the incidence of scar tissue formation around the implants and also interferes less with mammography. I place all of my implants through an incision in the crease underneath the breast. This approach has a nine-times lower rate of scar tissue formation around the implant compared to areolar or armpit approaches.

It is vitally important that all women over forty have yearly breast cancer screening with mammograms and this includes those women with breast implants. There is no increase in breast cancer incidence in women with implants, and there has been no delay in diagnosis of early breast cancers when implants are placed under the muscle.

There is no upper age limit for breast augmentation, because women of any age are deserving of the confidence boost that lovely breasts can provide. Breast augmentation for older women requires clear communication to determine the most appropriate surgical approach to meet the unique needs of each patient in this group. It is quite common for me to consult with patients whose natural breasts are not identical in size, shape, or position, and I have performed many surgeries that correct these asymmetry problems as well.

I encourage women to not worry about the “right” age for breast surgery, nor should they be concerned about the “right” age for any other aesthetic change, for that matter. If you have something that you would like to improve about your appearance, I would be delighted to meet with you and discuss your options.

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