“Middle-aged women that undergo a breast reduction operation often regret not having done it sooner,” says PhD student and plastic surgeon Richard Lewin who will be holding his dissertation on the subject at Sahlgrenska Academy.
Women with so-called breast hypertrophy, where the breasts are larger than normal, suffer more than just physical disorders such as backaches and problems with eczema and fungus under the breasts Psychological and psycho-social disorders are also common.
Doctoral student and plastic surgeon Richard Lewin’s thesis showed this in his study on quality of life in 1 000 women who had undergone breast reduction surgery at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg.
Physical and psychological problems
Physical problems that affected the women included pain in the neck, shoulders and breasts, while the psychological problems were expressed as poor self-confidence and low self-esteem. Many women also report having experienced discomfort in daily and/or public situations, which can, for example, lead to avoiding going to the beach.
“An additional trouble is the purely practical problem that abnormally large breasts create, for example, finding a suitable bra and clothes,” says Richard Lewin.
Improved quality of life
In his thesis, Richard Lewin shows that breast reduction surgery, for a majority of the women, leads to improved quality of life in many different ways.
“These operations have often been questioned as being purely esthetic, but breast reduction can completely change these women’s lives and is, therefore, something that should absolutely continue to be carried out within public healthcare,” says Richard Lewin.
The thesis Breast Hypertrophy and outcome of Breast Reduction Surgery was be defended at a disputation on March 3.
Link to the thesis: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/41241
Richard Lewin, PhD student at Sahlgrenska Academy, the University of Gothenburg and Section Head of the Department of Plastic Surgery, Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
Supervisor Professor Anna Elander, [email protected]
BY: Krister Svahn