Research Confirms Breast Reduction Benefits
We already knew it, now research confirms it: breast reduction surgery improves women’s health. We hear feedback ranging from satisfaction to joy from our New York breast reduction patients, and it’s good to know that there’s a study available that upholds how worthwhile surgery can be.
As reported in IN DAILY, an online journal published from Adelaide, Australia, researchers at Flinders University set out to explore how breast reduction surgery impacts the health and well being of Australian women. The goal was to understand the burden macromastia, the medical term for overly large breasts, places on women and the ways in which their lives are improved after surgery.
The team developed a questionnaire and offered it to breast reduction candidates of plastic surgeons at the Flinders Medical Centre between 2007 and 2016. 156 participants completed both the before and after forms, which examined four key areas:
• Satisfaction with breasts
• Psychosocial well being
• Physical well being
• Sexual well being
To understand how women with large breasts fare in against women in general, the team compared the results of the survey against normative data. The researchers found that prior to surgery, the women scored “significantly lower” on the four quality of life measures than average women. Not only did scores on the questionnaire improve in every one of the four areas after breast reduction surgery, the group of 156 women then scored higher than average in quality of life.
A spokesperson for the study, PhD candidate Tamara Crittenden, said she hopes that the results will help pave the way for more women to have access to breast reduction surgery. She wants to see that no restrictions are placed on patients unless they are evidence-based.
The next step for Crittenden’s team is to measure the cost-effectiveness of breast reduction compared to other surgical procedures. We would welcome results of such a study with open arms, because it could be a factor in convincing insurance companies to cover the cost of breast reduction for more patients.
When we consult with candidates for breast reduction surgery in New York, they often tell us about their frustrations in working to secure insurance coverage. They say they detail related physical ailments, including neck, back and shoulder aches, rashes under the breasts and deep, painful bra strap grooves. Some inform their carriers that they have challenges controlling their weight because exercise is too uncomfortable. Some talk about needing counseling to help contend with issues of self-esteem and social isolation.
Only after presenting thorough evidence that breast reduction surgery is a necessity for improved health are SOME women successful in securing coverage. The process can take time, and we encourage our New York breast reduction patients to be patient, persistent and thorough in their approach, documenting everything. Our staff can be of help in this task.
This is why new research such as the study from Australia is so welcome. Once insurance companies understand the benefits of breast reduction surgery to their customers AND the cost-effective nature of the procedure, they should be more open to offering coverage.
Breast reduction surgery is almost as rewarding for us as it is for our patients. We derive great pleasure in helping women—as the IN DAILY article puts it—gain “a new lease on life.” Call our offices in Manhattan at 212-570-6080 if we can be of help to you!