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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2000 Oct;106(5):991-7.

Reduction mammaplasty provides long-term improvement in health status and quality of life.

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Department of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


The objective of this study was to assess health status and quality of life in macromastia patients undergoing reduction mammaplasty. From January of 1997 to June of 1997, the Department of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, at Stockholm Söder Hospital/Karolinska Hospital, conducted a prospective questionnaire study with preoperative and postoperative (6 and 12 months) assessments in 49 women who were 20 years or older. The questionnaire included four parts: Part I assessed pain (scale 1 to 10) in the neck, shoulders, back, breast, bra strap indention, and head. Part II assessed effects of breast size and weight on body posture, sleep, choice of clothing, sexual relations, and working capacity (scale 1 to 10). Part III assessed preoperative expectations for the operation in comparison with postoperative result (scale 1 to 6). Part TV included SF-36, an international health-related quality-of-life questionnaire, which has been standardized for Swedish women. As a result, reduction mammaplasty (mean resection weight, 1052 g) provided significant reduction of pain in all locations (p < 0.001). The improvements continued up to 12 months postoperatively. The patients' main subjective problems related to the size and weight of the breast were body posture and choice of clothing. The patients scored significant improvements of all subjective problems (p < 0.001), except sleep. The patients' expectations were met to a high extent. In some areas such as intimate situations, femininity, and social contacts, the results exceeded the preoperative expectations. Preoperatively, the mammaplasty patients scored significantly lower (p < 0.05 to p < 0.001, depending on area) in SF-36, i.e., the patients had lower quality of life compared with women in the same age group. Reduction mammaplasty resulted in significantly improved quality of life; furthermore, the results were similar after 6 and 12 months, indicating long-term improvement. In fact, after 1 year, there was no statistically significant difference between the patients who had been operated on and the age-matched women, i.e., the women were normalized in health-related quality of life as judged by the SF-36.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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