Defining Success: 6 Outcomes of Breast Surgery

Based on patient input, researchers have formulated a “conceptual framework” that defines successful breast surgery, in a general sense.  6 factors can influence patient satisfaction and quality-of-life improvements in cosmetic surgery of the breast:

1. Aesthetic improvement – this is obviously, by definition, the main goal of cosmetic breast surgery.  participants of the study commented about improvements in breast shape and the clothing options that were now available to them as a result.  One patient with breast implants comments, “Some things are much more fun to put on, and the stuff that I used to wear looks way better–I am sure they looked good before, too–but I just fill in a bit more, look a bit more busty in them.”

2. Physical health and well-being – after breast reduction, patients often experience less pain and greater mobility, which in turn promotes better health.

3. Psychosocial improvement – Patients shared the positive changes in self perception and experiences in social settings that came after surgery. More confidence and feeling as if you fit the perceived “norm” of the female body are said to be common benefits of breast surgery.

4. Sexual Well-Being – When people feel more attractive, they generally experience more sexual pleasure.  Thus, if breast implants or another surgery improve a woman’s perception of her self and her body, sexual well being can improve.

5.  Surgeon-Patient Relationship
Those who experienced a good surgeon-patient relationship – with open, honest communication – expressed more satisfaction with breast surgery.  Patients who had an unfavorable relationship with the surgeon or staff reported being somewhat fearful, uncomfortable, and less satisfied.

6. Overall Satisfaction
Researchers also included the simple category of general satisfaction.  Would you undergo the surgery again?  “If I had to do it again, I would do it again” said one participant.

According to the researchers, “this new conceptual framework establishes the main issues of concern for breast surgery patients.”  What do our readers think?  Are these the most important factors to consider?  Are there goals that have been left out?

Given the fact that cosmetic breast surgery is divided up into different procedures, each with different goals, does it make sense to formulate this all-encompassing criteria for successful breast surgery?  To read more about this topic, you can access the full text article for free at BioMed Central.

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