New Study Shows Surgical Treatment on Breast Asymmetry Improves Quality of Life

New York, NY (December 17, 2007) - Findings from a study released today in the November/December issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal suggests that surgical treatment for breast asymmetry (disproportionate breast size) provides an improvement in the quality of life and self-esteem of patients. Breast asymmetry is not uncommon in women; in fact, few women have perfectly symmetrical breasts.

Breast shape and size irregularities can cause damaging physical and emotional consequences, said Miguel Sabino Neto, MD, PhD, lead author of the study. While plastic surgery of the breast can provide an aesthetically acceptable result with few complications, it is important to also consider the impact on the physical, social and psychological well-being of the patient.

Thirty-five patients with breast asymmetry were selected for the evaluation of the impact of breast asymmetry surgery on self-esteem and health-related quality of life. Patients that participated in the Brazilian study ranged from ages 16 to 50 years old.

Patients completed the Brazilian version of the SF-36, a quality of life indicator that measures eight dimensions of health status, including physical function, role limitations caused by physical problems, pain, health perception, vitality, social function, role limitations caused by emotional problems, and mental health. Participating patients also completed the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, which evaluates quality of life based on responses to ten questions on the subject of self-esteem. Both were completed before and after surgery at three and six months post-operative follow-up.

A progressive improvement in all dimensions of the SF-36 was observed, with scores that were significantly higher for emotional factors at three months after surgery and for pain, vitality and mental health six months after surgery. Self-esteem was also found to be statistically significant.

These findings underscore the positive effect that surgical treatment can have on patients with breast asymmetry, said Foad Nahai, MD, Atlanta plastic surgeon, President of ASAPS and Associate Editor of ASJ. The results of such surgery go far beyond aesthetics, more importantly improving the self-esteem and quality of life of these patients.

About ASJ
The Aesthetic Surgery Journal is the peer-reviewed publication of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and is the most widely read clinical journal in the field of cosmetic surgery, with subscribers in more than 60 countries.

About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery is the leading organization of board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic plastic surgery. ASAPS active-member plastic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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