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Reduction mammaplasty improves symptoms of macromastia

F Gonzalez, R L Walton, B Shafer, W E Matory, G L Borah
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 1993, 91 (7): 1270-6
The condition macromastia has not been defined and characterized precisely by the medical community. Whether the patient with hypertrophic breasts is a candidate for or can be helped by reduction mammaplasty is unclear to both the medical and the lay community. A prospective study of 39 women undergoing reduction mammaplasty surgery was initiated to answer these questions. Patients rated the severity of their somatic pain symptoms and discomfort before reduction mammaplasty and again after complete recovery. The severity of their symptoms and complaints was numerically graded and analyzed. These data were compared with similar data obtained from 40 "small-breasted" women of similar age. Headache, neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, and bra strap groove pain were present in 60 to 92 percent of patients, and 97 percent of patients had at least three of these pain symptoms preoperatively. All the patients had reduction of their pain symptomatology postoperative, and 25 percent of the study patients had total elimination of pain symptoms by reduction mammaplasty. The postoperative incidence and severity of pain symptoms and discomfort complaints were statistically equivalent to or less than the levels in the control group.

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