Findings from a study published in the July/August 2008 issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal show an improvement in the quality of life of patients who underwent breast reduction surgery.

Patients seek out breast reduction surgery for many reasons, not the least of which is to ease pain and discomfort associated with having larger breasts," says Miguel Sabino Neto, MD, PhD, a plastic surgeon in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and lead author of the study. "However, there is also an emotional discomfort as well, including low self-esteem, social and sexual embarrassment, and frustration with difficulties in performing daily routines. It was our goal to determine quantitatively whether these emotional issues improved, as well as the physical."

In the study, 100 patients were randomly allocated into two groups. One group was selected to undergo breast reduction, while the other was put on a waiting list and served as a control group. At the beginning of the study, all patients were interviewed to collect demographic information, as well as to measure their self-esteem and functional capacity. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and Rolland-Morris (widely used self-esteem measures) were used for these quality of life measurements. Pain intensity was also measured using a visual analog scale. These measurements were evaluated again 6 months after the surgery.

After surgery, a decrease in the score on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale indicated a marked improvement in self-esteem in these patients versus those in the control group. Functional capacity had also improved in this group of patients, who also reported a significant decrease in intensity of pain in the lower back. It is reasonable to conclude that these improvements were brought about by the breast reduction surgery.

[Medical News Today, August 5, 2008]