Review of Data Describing Outcomes That Are Used to Assess Changes in Quality of Life after Reduction Mammaplasty
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Although plastic surgeons have empirically "known" of the benefits of reduction mammaplasty for their patients, a paucity of outcome studies have been reported. For this study, an attempt to perform a meta-analysis of outcomes in reduction mammaplasty was undertaken. A computer literature search was performed of the MEDLINE database for the period between 1966 and September of 1997 for the Medical Subject Headings mammaplasty and outcome measures. Reference lists were used for additional reports. No trials were identified that met the criteria for meta-analysis. Seventeen publications met less restrictive review criteria that evaluated quality-of-life outcome measures. A systematic evaluation of patient-focused outcome measures demonstrated that consistent improvement in physical symptoms was found across most studies, as was a high degree of patient satisfaction (78 to 95 percent very or moderately satisfied), and some have shown improvement in body image and psychological well-being. However, although this review does identify consistent improvements in patient quality of life after reduction mammaplasty, inconsistencies among study designs do not allow formal meta-analysis.
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