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Is 48 to old to get a breast reduction?

Q:

I have severe back and shoulder pain along with dents in my shoulders from my bra. Is 48 to old to get a breast reduction?

A:

You are certainly not too old to get a breast reduction. If you are otherwise healthy then you could be a good candidate for this procedure. Even with some medical issues, surgery may still be a good option for you. Consult a board certified plastic surgeon or your primary care physician and let them help you determine if this can be done safely for you.

A:

Not at all, and such a patient is very likely to remark, like many of my patients, "I wish I had done this years ago."

Breast reduction procedures are done on adults of almost all ages.  The most important limiting factors would be the patient's general health (heart, lungs, metabolism, circulation, medications).  If a woman is in good health, she could be a candidate for various procedures.  This is part of the reason for a personal consultation with your board certified plastic surgeon.

You would probably obtain major relief from back, neck, and shoulder pain, plus improved posture, easier participation in activities or exercise, and better clothing fit and choices.

A:

not at all. it is a very common age category for this to be performed. our muscles get slightly weaker as we age and the breasts sag more, so the increased stress on the muscles of the back and shoulders make it more difficult for women with hypertrophy. 

A:

You are certainly not too old to get a breast reduction. Whether you are a candidate, depends on a variety of factors including:  your underlying medical health, anatomy, having realistic expectations of the potential results, and a thorough understanding of the risks as well as the benefit of the procedure.

I would suggest that you see a plastic surgeon that you are comfortable with and trust and listen to his or her advice. The surgeon should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD  FACS

La Jolla, California

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