“No Ideal Age for (Breast) Reduction Surgery” and “A Happy Surgery”? by Lily Dayton, L.A. Times 9/17/15

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As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon practicing in Orange County, Ca. for more than 25 years , I read the article about 17 year old ‘Modern Family” star Ariel Winter with interest. The article for the most part was a well-balanced view of the wonderful benefits women receive from this “happy” operation. My own daughter chose to have this surgery at age 21. Having had rapid breast development during middle school and high school, we begin discussions when she was about 17 years old. By 21 she was ready. Just buying a bathing suit or bra created hours of shopping which was an emotional, tear-filled experience.

At 21 she decided it was time to move ahead and within a day of the surgery, she was thrilled and though a little groggy from medicine and a little sore, was immediately excited about her changes in body image, the ability to buy clothing, and the ease to exercise.

The opening paragraph of this article is of some disappointment of this otherwise well written piece. Ms. Dayton leads off with the description of a Los Angeles women who had a long and somewhat complicated post operative course,, not the norm. Months after surgery, she is happy that she did it, but was not anticipating the healing process.

Surgery is not an exact science and every patient and their doctor accept certain risks that may occur; fortunately these are unusual. Risks increase with age, underlying medical conditions, revision surgery, the size of the breast and the experience of the surgeon as well as the surgical technique.

I have performed #BreastReduction for more than 25 years and have used the Verticle or Lollipop method exclusively for the last 15 years. Technique and experience matter, both for the final result of improved shape and contour as well as a low rate of post surgery problems. I have not found the need to use an anchor pattern for any patients since changing to the verticle method. Contours are improved, fewer changes in sensation; infection, delayed healing and prolonged discomfort are unusual.

As noted in the closing paragraph, most older women feel so much better after their surgery that their only regret is wishing they had the surgery at a younger age. I wish the best to Ariel Winter and applaud her maturity for what is a life –improving treatment.

Jed Horowitz MD

Article by
Orange County Plastic Surgeon