Can Breast Surgery Make You Happier?

Recent survey reveals higher satisfaction and quality of life after augmentation.

While undergoing reconstructive surgery and subsequent augmentation may not always be a woman’s first choice, it can lead to increased satisfaction and quality of life, according to a recent article in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

Using a questionnaire, the BREAST-Q, to analyze patient-reported reactions to augmentation, researchers found that women not only reported higher satisfaction with their appearance but also experienced increased physical, sexual and psychosocial well-being. Additionally the study suggested a willingness by patients to tolerate a small amount of temporary discomfort to improve their breasts’ appearance.

While other studies have produced similar results, this was the first to utilize the BREAST-Q, “the only survey instrument for breast augmentation that meets both federal and international standards ,” observes lead author Michelle Coriddi, MD, of Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

In the study, patients who underwent augmentation between January 2008- May 2009 filled out the BREAST-Q survey both before and six weeks after surgery. Analysis of post-surgery data revealed significant improvements in satisfaction with breast appearance, psychosocial well-being and sexual well-being. While patients understandably experienced a decrease in physical well-being after surgery, it was unrelated to their satisfaction with the outcome of reconstruction. Rather, satisfaction was most strongly correlated to appearance of breasts, followed by psychosocial and sexual well-being.

Knowing that you will look better in the long run (and may even be happier) can help offset any discomfort resulting from reconstruction followed by augmentation. The findings also “clearly demonstrate that breast augmentation surgery has positive effects extending beyond improvements in breast appearance,” observes Foad Nahai, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Aesthetic Surgery Journal. So it may indeed have a silver lining.

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