Outcomes of Breast Reduction Surgery Using the BREAST-Q: A Prospective Study and Comparison with Normative Data

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BACKGROUND: This study aimed to assess breast-related satisfaction and well-being in women with breast hypertrophy before and after breast reduction surgery, and to compare these scores with Australian general population norms, using the BREAST-Q Reduction module.

METHODS: A prospective cohort study was conducted between March of 2010 and February of 2016. Participants self-completed the BREAST-Q preoperatively and 12 months postoperatively. Normative BREAST-Q data were generated from women aged 18 years and older for comparison. Statistical analysis was performed and values of p < 0.05 were considered significant. RESULTS: The BREAST-Q was completed by 132 participants preoperatively and 12 months postoperatively. Statistically significant improvements were found following surgery in Satisfaction with Breasts, Psychosocial Well-being, Sexual Well-being, and Physical Well-being. In comparison with normative data, patients with breast hypertrophy had significantly lower scores preoperatively, with scores significantly increasing postoperatively to levels representative of the general population. Satisfaction with outcome was not significantly different between patients who were eligible by traditional insurance requirements (Schnur sliding scale/500-g minimum rule) and those who were not. The presence of surgical complications did not affect change in BREAST-Q scores or postoperative satisfaction with outcome. Differences were observed in mean BREAST-Q scores when comparing generated Australian norms to published U.S. norms.

CONCLUSIONS: Breast reduction surgery significantly improves the satisfaction and quality of life in women with breast hypertrophy to a level that is at least equivalent to that of the normative population. Surgery is of benefit to all women, including those who do not meet traditional insurance requirements.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1034-1044
Number of pages11
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


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