A ^Retired Plastic Surgeon's Notebook


Breast and Body Contouring for Women of a Certain Age According to Seattle Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

In the past few years I have done a lot of breast and body procedures on post menopausal women. These range from abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), to liposuction, to breast lift and reduction and even breast augmentation. Obviously, this is the leading edge of the “Baby Boomers” who are now hitting retirement age and in many cases, just now hitting their fashion stride. They may be downsizing their work wardrobe but they aren’t replacing it with frumpy clothes. They are replacing their work clothes  with golf, tennis and ski clothes, body conscious casual wear and swimwear and lingerie that my “Greatest Generation” mother would not have dreamed of wearing, even as a young woman.

Post menopause can present challenges even for the most active and self disciplined woman. Unfortunately, I am speaking from very personal experience! Even if you haven’t gained an ounce since high school, you won’t likely be able to fit into those skin tight bell bottoms you wore with your love beads. As we age, our weight redistributes. Those cute  apple cheeks you hated as a kid (but would kill for today) have suddenly migrated south and become love handles. Also, if you had your body composition measured at 18 and then at 50, your fat percentage has risen significantly because you have lost lean body mass, i.e. muscle and bone. Even if you weigh the same, you have a lot more fat.

So, what to do? A few obvious (but not easy) things come to mind. Down size food portions. The “small” chicken burrito wrap at Word Wraps I ordered yesterday is about the size of a miniature dachshund. Cut it in half and throw half away. Twenty minutes after eating half of it, you’ll feel full and be so glad you didn’t eat the whole thing. Consider giving up that glass or two or three of wine in the evening. You probably wouldn’t have three lemonades after 5 pm but the calories are about the same. If you aren’t on a calcium supplement, get thee to the drug store and make Tums a part of your daily routine. Get your bone density test and start an osteoporosis drug if recommended by your doctor. If you are not on a strength training program, get thee to the gym. You can build bone and muscle after menopause. This will improve your strength and lean body mass and will also boost your metabolism, improve your balance and your mood. I have found that a good session of strength training gives me the same “high” that distance running did a decade ago. And my knees are so much happier.

After you have done your best with the above, give me a call. Remember, you can’t exercise your skin and gravity, well, it is the law. I’m here to help. Check out my photo gallery and notice how many ladies in gallery are of a “certain age”.