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Patients Follow Breast Reconstruction with Cosmetic Surgery

ASPS study participants seek body image improvement following mastectomy

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Although Breast Reconstruction can dramatically improve a woman’s self-esteem and sense of well-being following a mastectomy, it may not be the only step some patients take to improve their self-image. Breast reconstruction patients may also choose cosmetic surgery procedures such as Liposuction or Eyelid Surgery in a quest to further improve their overall body image, says a new study reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

“Breast reconstruction is transformative in many ways,” said Liza Wu, M.D., ASPS member surgeon and study co-author. “When a woman faces the prospect of losing a breast, one of the most gratifying things plastic surgeons can offer is the ability to help reconstruct the breast and possibly improve her appearance and restore her self confidence.”

In the study, 42 patients who followed their Breast Reconstruction with cosmetic surgery responded to a questionnaire. The cosmetic procedures included Liposuction (33%), Facelift (19%) and Eyelid Surgery (12%). The most common reason for pursuing cosmetic surgery among the study participants was the desire to improve their self-image.

“Despite the advances in the ability of plastic surgeons to recreate the breast, women may remain concerned about their body image,” said Dr. Wu. “Some patients view cosmetic surgery as an additional option to further restore themselves and feel whole after battling breast cancer.”

Improvements in body image following cosmetic surgery were more likely to occur in patients who experienced an improvement in body image following breast reconstruction and/or were interested in cosmetic surgery prior to reconstruction, according to the study.

“It is important to note that many women who opt for breast reconstruction do not go on to have cosmetic procedures,” said Dr. Wu. “But for those that deem it an appropriate choice, cosmetic surgery can improve body image satisfaction and may help to further meet their needs and expectations.”

Source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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