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Self-Image and Sexual Well-Being Increase After Breast Augmentation

Survey reveals high satisfaction and improved quality of life after breast augmentation

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Febuary 7, 2013

Women who have had breast augmentation reported higher satisfaction not only with the overall appearance of their breasts, but also in their physical, sexual and psychosocial well-being, says a recent study. The researchers also found that overall satisfaction with breast augmentation was most strongly correlated with breast appearance satisfaction.

No correlation was found between overall satisfaction and physical well-being, suggesting that patients may be willing to tolerate a small amount of temporary discomfort for an improvement in breast appearance. The study appeared in the February issue of Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

"Although improvements in satisfaction and quality of life after breast augmentation have been reported in the literature, few studies have used validated survey instruments. This is one of the first studies to analyze patient-reported satisfaction and quality of life following breast augmentation using the BREAST-Q, the only survey instrument for breast augmentation that meets both federal and international standards for questionnaire development," said lead author Michelle Coriddi, MD, of Wexner Medical Center at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

"In this study, we identified breast appearance after surgery as a specific factor that correlates with patient satisfaction," Dr. Coriddi said. "This finding allows plastic surgeons to take steps to improve an already high satisfaction rate with breast augmentation, such as by focusing on preoperative counseling to give patients a realistic expectation of their postoperative breast appearance."

In this prospective study, patients who underwent augmentation with a single surgeon between January 2008 and May 2009 anonymously filled out the validated BREAST-Q survey preoperatively and again 6 weeks after surgery. Data analysis showed significant postoperative improvements in satisfaction with breast appearance, psychosocial well-being and sexual well-being.

A significant decrease in physical well-being was reported after surgery, but this did not correlate to any increase or decrease in satisfaction with overall outcomes. Instead, satisfaction with overall outcomes most strongly correlated to satisfaction with appearance of breasts, followed by psychosocial and sexual well-being.

"The ability to demonstrate patient-reported outcomes using a validated survey instrument like the BREAST-Q is extremely important as we move towards greater implementation of evidence-based medicine in plastic surgery," said Foad Nahai, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Aesthetic Surgery Journal. "This study shows that women are indeed very satisfied and have an improved quality of life following breast augmentation. Moreover, the findings on higher sexual and psychosocial well-being after surgery clearly demonstrate that breast augmentation surgery has positive effects extending beyond improvements in breast appearance."

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), 316,848 breast augmentations were performed in 2011, making breast augmentation the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in women and the second most popular cosmetic surgery overall.

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