Little is known about the lived experiences of women following breast reduction surgery. Many studies addressed surgical technique or physical symptoms, but few looked at quality-of-life issues.
The aim of this qualitative study was to understand subjective issues of life after breast reduction surgery. Increased knowledge about this group of women may direct or guide nursing practice.
A convenience sample of 9 English-speaking women aged 23—53 years were recruited during their follow-up visit. Patients were asked, “What is life like following your breast reduction?”
A phenomenological approach was used to provide a rigorous, critical, and systematic study of the phenomenon. Analysis involved looking for themes. Giorgi's method guided the analysis.
Themes that emerged were improved physical health, increased self-esteem, self-confidence, and enhanced body image. In addition, preoperative expectations of the postoperative period varied from those of actual recovery, creating issues for some women.
Following breast reduction surgery, women experienced enhanced quality of life and improved physical symptoms.