Breast reduction surgery found to improve physical, mental well-being

July 30, 2013

Breast reduction surgery produces measurable improvements in several important areas of health and quality of life, reports a study in the August issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

The study used the BREAST-Q questionnaire, a well-validated survey instrument, to document the physical and psychosocial health benefits of . "The improvement in physical well-being is important for justification of insurance coverage," according to the paper by Dr. Michelle Coriddi and colleagues of Wexner Medical Center at the Ohio State University, Columbus.

Documented Gains in Well-Being after Breast Reduction

The study was designed to evaluate and confirm the benefits of surgery—one of the most commonly performed breast . Previous studies have found it highly effective in relieving symptoms related to overly large breasts.

The BREAST-Q was used to obtain a more complete picture of the and is "the only questionnaire to assess breast reduction outcomes that meets international and federal standards for questionnaire development," according to Dr. Coriddi and coauthors.

In a series of 49 patients undergoing breast reduction, 78 percent anonymously completed the BREAST-Q before and/or after surgery. Changes in patient-reported satisfaction and quality of life after breast reduction were assessed.

The results showed significant improvement in all four areas evaluated on both the before and after questionnaires: satisfaction with the appearance of the breasts and psychosocial, sexual and physical well-being. On a 100-point scale, satisfaction with breast appearance increased from about 20 before surgery to more than 80 afterward.

There were also large improvements in scores for psychosocial well-being: from 41 to 84, sexual well-being: from 40 to 78, and physical well-being: from 43 to 81. As reported in previous studies, the procedure relieved pain in the breast, neck, back and shoulders.

BREAST-Q Helps Meet Need for Evidence-Based Outcomes Data

Satisfaction with breast appearance was most strongly related to satisfaction with the overall outcome. In addition to reducing pain, breast reduction led to significant improvements in sleep and ability to exercise.

The new study is important confirmation that breast reduction leads to improvements in physical and psychosocial well-being. "The improvement in physical activity, decrease in costly chronic medical complaints and improvement in overall quality of life indicated by this survey study validates insurance coverage for this procedure," the researchers write.

Dr. Coriddi and colleagues note that the benefits of breast reduction are seen shortly after surgery, as little as six weeks. Improvements also occur after relatively small reductions in breast size—which argues against arbitrary guidelines for the amount of tissue removed. The researchers plan further studies using the BREAST-Q to assess breast reduction outcomes, including more patients and long-term follow-up.

Explore further: Fat grafting techniques for breast reconstruction are commonly used by US plastic surgeons

Related Stories

Gynecomastia has psychological impact on adolescent boys

April 2, 2013

Persistent breast enlargement (gynecomastia) negatively affects self-esteem and other areas of mental and emotional health in in adolescent males, reports the April issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official ...

Recommended for you

An eye on young specialists' success

December 5, 2016

Graduates from several medical and surgical specialties are having difficulty securing practice opportunities, especially in specialties dependent upon limited resources, according to new research from Queen's ophthalmologist ...

'Halo' effect common after lasik eye surgery

December 3, 2016

(HealthDay)—Nine out of 10 Lasik laser eye surgery patients report satisfaction afterwards. But a sizable percentage experience new visual disturbances—like seeing halos around lights—up to six months after the procedure, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.