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Ann Plast Surg. 2007 Apr;58(4):364-70.

Changes in body image and health-related quality of life following breast reduction surgery in German macromastia patients: a new tool for measuring body image changes.

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1
Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany. Dr.Borkenhagen@web.de

Abstract

Health insurance funds in Germany are increasingly reluctant to fund the cost for reduction mammaplasty. However, several studies have already demonstrated the beneficial effects of breast reduction on symptom relief and health-related quality of life. More specifically, the psychologic and social consequences of breast reduction surgery were also recently evaluated. Relating to the contemporary debate on financial restraint, the present article describes a follow-up study conducted in a sample of 40 patients undergoing reduction mammaplasty. The purpose of the investigation was to assess indicators of health-related quality of life following reduction mammaplasty. Furthermore, the study aimed to assess body image changes and to test a new assessment instrument, Digital-Body-Photo-Test (DBPT), in comparison with a well-validated body image measure (Color-a-Person Body Dissatisfaction Test, CAPT) (concurrent validity). As hypothesized, the findings indicate significant improvements in health-related quality-of-life measures and body-image characteristics. The substantial improvement of body-image satisfaction of all body areas suggests a generalized positive effect of reduction mammaplasty on overall body image. The strong association between the DBPT and the CAPT scores in this study indicates that DBPT is an efficient and valid new tool for measuring body-image changes relating to patients' evaluations of their average satisfaction of specific body parts or areas and their overall appearance acceptance.

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