Women are often satisfied with the results of their breast reduction surgery, but their plastic surgeons tend to be more critical, a new study suggests.

According to the findings, patients are most concerned about symmetry, while surgeons focus more on technical factors such as the position of the nipple and shape of the breast. Both patients and surgeons are concerned with the appearance of scars.

The new findings appear in the August issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Of 125 women who had undergone reduction mammaplasty, 80 percent rated their cosmetic result as good one year after surgery. Rates were slightly higher at six months. Plastic surgeons rated the outcomes using standard before-and-after photographs. The surgeon ratings were "good" to "very good" in about 75 percent of cases. The private surgeon was more critical than the public surgeons, rating the results "good" to "very good" in only about 60 percent of women, the study showed.

Among patients, older women were more critical of their cosmetic results than younger women, while women who had complications were more likely to rate their results "unacceptable."

Study author Line Bro Breiting, MD, of Herlev Hospital, Denmark stated that providing detailed preoperative and postoperative instructions can play a role in improving satisfaction with the results and the process. "The better the information and the higher the confidence level, the better was the outcome," Breiting and coauthors wrote. "One must not underestimate the importance of factors like preoperative information about the surgery and complications, together with proper and qualified care."