This article (full reference below) on the additional benefits an individual gains from having a reduction mammoplasty (RM) has been published online ahead of print. The authors performed a systemic review of the literature focusing on functional outcomes after RM with regard to physical and psychological symptom improvement.
The authors performed a systematic review of the English literature using PUBMED for the period between 1977 to 2010. Studies were chosen that addressed the physical and psychological benefits of RM using a validated questionnaire.
The authors note that nearly eighty thousand breast reductions were performed in 2009. For insurance coverage in the United States a woman seeking breast reduction must have complaints of physical symptoms (i.e., neck pain, upper back pain, inframammary rashes, etc.).
The authors of this article choose to look at the other benefits a reduction mammoplasty can have:
Even less common are investigations on the effect of RM on weight loss, exercise, and eating behavior. Women with large breasts often find exercising difficult due to public scrutiny and physical constraints. They may even develop eating disorders in an attempt to match their breast size to the rest of their body. ……..Women with macromastia often have
diminished self-esteem, poor psychosexual function, depression, and anxiety.
I want to applaud them for their article. There are 52 articles in their reference list. Table I is a breakdown of 6 articles on physical symptoms/improvements. Table II does the same for 8 articles on the effects of reduction mammoplasty on exercise, weight and eating behaviors. Table III does the same for 5 articles on the effects of reduction mammoplasty on psyche. Table IV summarizes 3 articles on the effects of reduction mammoplasty on appearance.
The results of their summary:
Women who undergo RM have a functional improvement in musculoskeletal pain, headaches, sleep, and breathing. Psychological benefits are vast and include improved self esteem, sexual function, and quality of life, as well as less anxiety and depression. Following RM, women appear to exercise more and have a reduction in eating disorders.
This is what I saw over my 21 years of practice in taking care of these women.
Additional Benefits to Reduction Mammaplasty: A Systemic Review of the Literature; Singh, Kimberly A.; Losken, Albert; Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery., POST ACCEPTANCE, 15 November 2011; doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31824129ee
*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*