10 October 2008

A new study presented to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has found that four types of breast surgery procedures leave women very satisfied.

Dubbed the 'Fantastic 4', breast augmentation, breast lifts, combination lift/augmentation and breast reduction are shown by the research to achieve a high satisfaction rate, enhance self-esteem and boost quality of life for patients.

What's more, 99 per cent of women surveyed said that their experience was so positive they would have breast surgery again.

The study is the first of its kind to be undertaken on breast surgery satisfaction. 325 patients were interviewed over a five year period, with an 81 per cent response rate. Overall, patient satisfaction was 96 per cent, with 91 patients reporting improved self-esteem.

Eric Swanson, MD, ASPS Member Surgeon and author of the report, stated: "Many studies have shown breast augmentation and reduction are highly gratifying procedures for women, but until now we've had limited information on patient satisfaction for breast lift or combination lift/augmentation. This data fills in the gap.

"When the vertical technique is used in the augmentation/lift procedure, patient satisfaction is high."

The study also investigated patients' preferred breast shape, discomfort levels and recovery. It found that most women favoured a convex breast shape that is fuller at the top, which Dr Swanson said was "hardly surprising in view of the purpose of bras".

In addition, breast surgery patients using prescription analgesics reported a pain rating of 5.4 out of 10 overall - 5.9 for augmentation and 3.3 for reduction - while the average woman returned to work in just 7.5 days.

According to ASPS, nearly 348,000 women in the US underwent breast augmentations in 2007, making it the number one cosmetic surgery procedure performed last year.

The UK has followed a similar pattern, with the number of breast enlargements skyrocketing by 275 per cent between 2002 and 2007.