Breast Reduction Surgery Improves Well-Being for Young Patients

Complications generally minor; most patients improved in physical and psychosocial well-being

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Breast reduction surgery improves physical and psychosocial well-being in young women undergoing surgery for concerns related to excessively large breasts, according to a study published in the September issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Laura C. Nuzzi, of Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and colleagues analyzed surveys from 512 female patients ages 12 to 21 years who had undergone reduction mammaplasty between 2008 and 2017. Patients answered questionnaires before their operation, six months after surgery, and one, three, five, and seven years after surgery. Questionnaires included the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (version 2), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the Breast-Related Symptoms Questionnaire, and the Eating-Attitudes Test-26. Patients also responded to surveys assessing surgical outcomes and complications.

The researchers found that hypertrophic scarring occurred in 20.0 percent of patients, altered sensation of the nipple occurred in 8.4 percent of patients, and altered sensation in the breast occurred in 7.8 percent of patients. Some patients experienced other complications including postoperative breast growth. However, regardless of complications, most patients experienced significant improvements in physical and psychosocial well-being as measured by questionnaires. The investigators also found that patient age, body mass index, and the amount of tissue removed did not significantly affect the odds of experiencing a complication.

"Fear of potential complications should not preclude otherwise healthy patients from the benefits that reduction mammaplasty can provide adolescents," the authors write.

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