Young women with congenital breast asymmetry have impaired psychological well-being and self-esteem. However, little is known regarding the effects of surgical intervention in this population. This cohort study aims to assess postoperative changes in health-related quality of life following surgical treatment of breast asymmetry in young women using a prospective, longitudinal study design.
From 2008 to 2018, 45 young women undergoing surgical correction of breast asymmetry of benign cause and 101 unaffected, female controls completed the following surveys: Short-Form 36v2, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and Eating-Attitudes Test-26. Surveys were administered at baseline and at up to 9-year follow-up.
Participants with breast asymmetry scored significantly worse than controls at baseline on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and in two Short-Form 36v2 domains: Social-Functioning and Role-Emotional. Asymmetry participants experienced significant postoperative improvements on the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and in three Short-Form 36v2 domains: Role-Physical, Social Functioning, and Mental Health. These improvements were sustained for a minimum of 5 years. Postoperatively, asymmetry participants’ quality of life was comparable to controls and did not vary by age at the time of surgery, asymmetry severity, or diagnosis.
Surgical treatment of breast asymmetry in young women yields significant and sustained improvements in psychosocial quality of life. Postoperatively, patients returned to a level of functioning commensurate with their peers.
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