Women in their 50’s form a growing segment of the population opting for breast implants and/or breast lift (mastopexy). The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that in the year 2016 breast augmentation accounted for 29% of all cosmetic surgeries in the 40-54 year-old age group, and that the number of women 55+ who opted for breast augmentation increased by 4%.
Women in their 50’s consider breast implants for a number of reasons. If your breasts have lost volume due to childbearing, aging and weight fluctuations, breast augmentation may be right for you.
What can Breast Augmentation do for you in your 50’s?
After menopause the lack of estrogen results in the loss of glandular tissue from the breast, and the breast begins to droop (or become ptotic). The cleavage becomes less pronounced, fat replaces the gland and the breast loses its youthful firmness and projection. If your breasts sag and have diminished volume you may improve the appearance of your breasts with both breast augmentation and a breast lift. Breast augmentation enlarges the breast and a lift (mastopexy) will improve the contour. An implant provides increased size, renewed projection and upper pole fill while a breast lift repositions the nipple correctly over the breast mound.
Smoking: Smoking ages skin and decreases its elasticity with collagen and elastin being lost at a higher rate than in those who are smoke-free. It is important to stop smoking at least three months before your surgery. Smoking can cause breathing and healing problems and will put you at greater risk than those who are smoke-free.
Medical History: As with any surgery, there are potential risks. A complete medical history is important to identify any concerns as patients enter their 50’s. Patients may wish to receive clearance from their primary care doctor, and should discuss all medications and their medical history with their plastic surgeon during their consultation.
Mammogram and Breast Implants
It is recommended that all women who are aged 50 and older have a yearly mammogram. If you have not had a mammogram it is important to schedule one to establish a baseline prior to your surgery.
Following breast augmentation, extra mammogram views are required to visualize all the breast tissue. It is important to discuss this beforehand with your technologist when having a mammogram.
Silicone or Saline Implants
All implants have a silicone shell or envelope. Some implants are filled with a silicone gel, while others are filled with saline (salt water). Silicone gel implants are softer, more natural looking and more effectively mimic the feel of the natural breast. Saline implants are an alternative for those women who prefer a natural product in their body, or who are not yet 22 years old.
Size of the Implant
Your surgeon will help you select the implant size that will satisfy your wishes while still allowing for good healing and long-term success. Many surgeons feel that the diameter of the implant should be similar to that of the breast. If too wide the implant can encroach on the midline or go under the arm. If too narrow it can leave a wide gap in the cleavage area. Saline and silicone implants are available in similar sizes.
As long as you are healthy your age will not affect recovery. Any restrictions and limitation of activities will be discussed with you by your surgeon.
Choose Your Surgeon Wisely
For best results and a safe outcome always choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Dr. Eric Pugash is a member of the Canadian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. Make an appointment with Dr. Pugash and learn how you can turn your 50’s and future decades into the very best times of your life.