Breast augmentation surgery produces measurable improvements in several important areas of health and quality of life. Interestingly, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS, August issue) also reported that so does breast reduction. A “Breast-Q” questionnaire, a well-validated survey instrument by the ASPS, documented both physical and psychosocial health benefits of breast reduction surgery.
“These results confirm my study from Columbia,” says Dr. Fisher, “that all is a matter of proportion. We all have unique requirements. Listen to your patient, I often tell my younger colleagues. You simply cannot approach surgery with a universal volume or implant in sight.”
The ASPS study was designed to evaluate and confirm the benefits of breast surgery for the purposes of insurance coverage. Previous studies have found similar benefits and it is only up to the insurance companies to realize the implications. “In the long run, the entire society benefits from plastic-cosmetic surgery performed on an individual whose psychological and psychosocial makeup is thereby improved,” says Dr. Gregory T. Fisher, P.C., F.A.C.S., of Cerritos Laser and Cosmetic Surgery Center.
In the latest BREAST-Q questionnaire, the only questionnaire used to assess breast reduction outcomes that meets international and federal standards for questionnaire development, out of a series of 49 patients who had undergone breast reduction, 78 percent anonymously completed the BREAST-Q before and/or after surgery. 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.
“This is nothing new,” concludes Dr. Fisher, “only, in the past, most of such studies have been performed with breast augmentation patients, with similar results.”