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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Outcomes after breast reduction: does size really matter?

Jason A Spector, Sunil P Singh, Nolan S Karp
Annals of Plastic Surgery 2008, 60 (5): 505-9
18434823
There is no doubt that reduction mammoplasty (RM) results in significant improvement in a myriad of patient macromastia-related symptoms and other macromastia-related quality of life factors. Whether this improvement is correlated with the amount of tissue resected remains unknown because no previous study of RM has stratified patients by the amount of breast tissue resected. In this study, all patients were given a custom-designed questionnaire designed to evaluate their macromastia-related symptoms and other macromastia-related quality of life issues. Patients were then provided the same questionnaire at their final postoperative visit between 3 and 12 months after surgery. A total of 188 patients completed pre- and postoperative surveys. Before the initiation of this study, patients were stratified by the total weight of breast tissue resected into the following cohorts: 1000 g or less (66 patients), 1001 to 1500 g (55 patients), 1501 to 2000 g (30 patients), and greater than 2000 g (37 patients). RM resulted in significant improvement in all macromastia-related symptoms and quality of life factors analyzed (P < 0.000001). There were no significant differences (P > 0.05) in pre- and postoperative macromastia-related symptoms across our 4 groups with the exception of lower back pain (preoperative P = 0.026), shoulder pain (preoperative P = 0.014), and painful bra strap grooves (preoperative P = 0.0059). Analysis of the symptomatic burden of macromastia on several quality of life factors showed no significant differences (P > 0.05) in either the pre- or postoperative symptom scores across all groups in any of the categories assessed. This study demonstrates that women seeking breast reduction have a similar preoperative symptom burden across a wide range of breast sizes. Furthermore, the symptomatic improvement derived from RM is not significantly different between women of different breast sizes.

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