Breast augmentation, lift, combination lift/augmentation, and reduction enhance self-esteem and quality of life, according to a study to be presented at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Plastic Surgery 2008 conference, which will be held October 31 to November 5, in Chicago.

“Many studies have shown breast augmentation and reduction are highly gratifying procedures for women, but until now we’ve had limited information on patient satisfaction for breast lift or combination lift/ augmentation. This data fills in the gap,” says Eric Swanson, MD, ASPS member surgeon and study author. “When the vertical technique is used in the augmentation/lift procedure, patient satisfaction is high.”

In the study, 325 patients were interviewed about their breast procedures over a 5 year period. According to the results. almost all patients (99%) said they would have their procedure again and 91% of patients reported improved self-esteem. Overall, patient satisfaction was 96%.

The study also evaluated preferred breast shape, discomfort level, and recovery. Most women preferred a convex breast shape (fuller contour at the top of the breast).

“Naturally, breasts are fuller towards the bottom, but our study found patients want more fullness on top, which is hardly surprising in view of the purpose of bras,” says Swanson.

Patients reported using prescription analgesics an average of 5 days, resumed driving in 6 days, returned to work in 8 days, and felt “back to normal” in 28 days. Pain rating was moderate overall, 5 out of 10, higher for breast augmentation (6) and lower for breast reduction (3).

“Prior to breast surgery, women often ask about discomfort level, recovery time, and when they’ll be able to return to normal activities,” says Swanson. “With this study, we now have the answers, provided by patients themselves.”

[ASPS, October 8, 2008]