Am I Too Old/overweight for Breast Reduction?

I am 51 years old and have battled with being overweight my whole life, it seems. I am 5'4'' and currently weigh 195 pounds, much of which has come on in the last 5 years. My breasts have always been large (D cup) and never "perky", but now I am up to a DD and hate how I look in clothes (or without :). Am I too old and/or overweight to contemplate breast reduction surgery? It would really be for cosmetic/self esteem issues; I don't have back or neck problems to speak of.

Doctor Answers 6

Breast reduction

You are neither too old nor too heavy to undergo a breast reduction.  Breast reduction surgery is not a difficult operation to go through as long as you are otherwise in good health. Even at your weight the surgery will be well tolerated. The only problem with your weight is that your insurance company might not agree to pay for it.  Different insurance carriers have different policies regarding this and they may tell you to lose weight before they will consider covering it. They commonly do this to avoid paying for this operation  Other than that, I see no problem having it done.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Too Old for surgery?

Thank you for your question.

In my opinion, the age of the patient is not the ONLY determining factor when deciding if a patient can undergo elective surgery.  I have many patients who are older but in great shape and therefore have no issues with having such surgery.

Visit with well experienced plastic surgeon's who can show you examples of their work so that you are comfortable with the process.  Sometimes, I ask my older patients to get a medical clearance /EKG from their doctor letting me know that all is well to proceed with surgery.

Breast reduction surgery is one of the most patient pleasing operations I do and hopefully, the only regret you will have is "why you didn't do it sooner".

Best Wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Breast Reduction - Weight and Age Issues

As long as you are healthy and had no major medical risks a breast reduction can be performed at just about any age. Physiological health is more important than chronological age. Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for a consultation and discuss whether you have addtional risks for surgery for example being overweight. From your description, it sounds like you would be a reasonable candidate for surgery.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Am I too old/overweight for breast reduction?

Hello! Thank you for your question! Age alone is not a contraindication to a surgical procedure. There are a few medical comorbidities that contribute to a higher risk during any surgical procedure including infections, wound complications, delayed wound healing, bleeding, anesthetic risks, etc. Factors such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart problems, lung problems, etc are more common in the elderly. However, if you are healthy, or these conditions are well-controlled, you would certainly still be a candidate for a surgical procedure. If your complaints or desires are great enough to consider the surgical option, I would seek a consultation with a plastic surgeon to discuss your complaints and go over the options as well as risks and benefits of the procedure.

You should obtain medical clearance from your primary care physician that you are at an acceptable risk for undergoing a surgical procedure. For elective or aesthetic procedures, your surgeon may want to get you to a reasonable health status prior to consideration for a procedure. Discuss all of your medical comorbidities and medication with your surgeon prior and discuss these risks. Also, discuss this with your anesthesiologist as proper monitoring and medications will be watched closely. Getting down to your ideal weight prior to any surgical procedure is wise as it will minimize complications as well as risks during anesthesia.  This procedure should still be very safe for you and hope for an uncomplicated course with an excellent result! Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Too old for breast reduction/lift?

Thank you for your post. Age is not a contraindication to surgery. Poor health is. If you are a healthy adult, and interested in a breast reduction or lift surgery, meet with a board certified plastic surgeon. He or she will assess you as a patient for any risks you might have. The biggest risks are heart disease, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, and previous history of deep venous thrombosis. If you are having back pain, neck pain, bra strap grooving, rashes under the breast fold, or just desire a breast lift, meet with a highly qualified surgeon.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Scarless breast reduction

What a great opportunity for the "Scarless" reduction. This is liposuction only performed on an outpatient basis and usually takes about half an hour with minimal downtime and very few risks. You will certainly not get a contract for the centerfold of Playboy magazine like this but it is a quick easy way to get you down several cup sizes and you will feel more comfortable and be able to wear more appropriate clothing. Find someone in your area that has a lot of experience with this and you should do great. Good luck

Sherwood Baxt, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.