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Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000000023
Cosmetic: Outcomes Article

Understanding the Effect of Breast Augmentation on Quality of Life: Prospective Analysis Using the BREAST-Q

Alderman, Amy K. M.D., M.P.H.; Bauer, Joseph M.D.; Fardo, Dean M.D.; Abrahamse, Paul Ph.D.; Pusic, Andrea M.D., M.S.

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Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate patient satisfaction and quality of life with elective breast augmentation.

Methods: Patients with bilateral submuscular breast augmentations prospectively completed the BREAST-Q preoperatively and 6 weeks and 6 months postoperatively; t tests compared preoperative and postoperative scores at 6 weeks and 6 months, and standard indicators of effect sizes were calculated. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between patient and surgical factors on satisfaction outcomes.

Results: The study sample included 611 female patients with the following characteristics: (1) mean age of 33.5 years; (2) mean body mass index of 21.7; (3) and mean implant volume of 360; with (4) 73 percent having received a silicone implant. Significant improvements were found in patient satisfaction with breasts (p < 0.001), psychosocial well-being (p < 0.001), and sexual well-being (p < 0.001) at 6 weeks and 6 months postoperatively, and all were associated with a very large Kazis effect size of 3.66, 2.39, and 2.56 at 6 months, respectively. However, at both 6 weeks and 6 months postoperatively, physical well-being remained significantly below preoperative baseline scores. In addition, satisfaction with breasts and with the overall surgical experience was significantly lower among older patients (p = 0.01 and 0.02, respectively).

Conclusions: Breast augmentation is associated with high patient satisfaction and significant improvements in quality of life. However, physicians should inform patients that submuscular augmentations are associated with a delay in recovery of physical functioning and be aware that older patients may experience diminished satisfaction and should counsel accordingly.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, IV.

©2014American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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