More and more mommies are going under the knife to regain the shape the shape they once had. Last year, breast augmentation was the most popular cosmetic surgery in the US and nearly a third of all patients were aged 40 or above, a 17% increase from the previous year.
The recent rise can largely be attributed to the heavy marketing of so-called “mommy makeovers“: a breast lift or augmentation, or a tummy tuck – or a combination of the three. Another factor contributing to the rising numbers is the increase in bariatric surgeries. After this procedure many women also undergo breast augmentation to compensate for the weight lost in the breasts, the number of annual weight-loss surgeries in the United States has nearly doubled since 2003, and typical patients are in their late 30’s.
Many women now tell a story of rejuvenation, similar to Dena Scott. Unhappy with her shape after bearing two children, she decided to have breast augmentation surgery.
After Dena got saline implants for her breast she says her new D cup makes her feel younger, and after her friends saw the results, several say they are considering having implants too.
Dr. Walter Erhardt, the last president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and a practicing surgeon in Albany, Ga., for 27 years, says “far and away” the majority of patients today who are undergoing breast enlargement or “rejuvenation” surgery are women like Mrs. Scott, who are married with kids.
Many women believe that breast feeding is directly linked to sagging of the breasts. This is not strictly true. In fact, a small study presented in October by Dr. Brian Rinker, a surgeon at the University of Kentucky, found that breastfeeding alone didn’t appear to have an effect on the shape of a woman’s breasts. Age and the number of pregnancies seem to be the “significant risk factors” for “an increased degree of breast sagging.”
After age 40, the changes in the breasts become more pronounced, as fatty tissue begins to replace the supportive, fibrous tissue known as the stroma, and skin starts to sag, regardless of whether the a women has had children. Women over the age of 40 who have had several children are more at risk of loosing their shape. Hence the growing numbers of breast augmentation surgeries performed in this age group.