The magnitude of effect of cosmetic breast augmentation on patient satisfaction and health-related quality of life

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2012 Jul;130(1):218-223. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e318254b3bc.


Background: The objective of this study was to gain a better understanding of the magnitude of clinical change in health-related quality of life and patient satisfaction brought about by cosmetic breast augmentation.

Methods: A prospective, longitudinal study was performed. Women undergoing cosmetic breast augmentation were asked to complete the BREAST-Q Augmentation module both before and after augmentation. Before and after group-level comparisons included paired t tests and effect size statistics. The responsiveness of the BREAST-Q scales was also compared at the individual person level by computing, for each and every person, the significance of her own change in measurement.

Results: A total of 41 patients completed the BREAST-Q before and after augmentation. Patients reported that "satisfaction with breasts," "psychosocial well-being," and "sexual well-being" were significantly higher following augmentation compared with preoperative levels (p = 0.00, p = 0.00, and p = 0.00, respectively). These statistically significant change scores were associated with large effect sizes (d = 2.4, 1.7, and 1.9, respectively). Significant improvements in satisfaction with breasts, psychosocial well-being, and sexual functioning were seen in 38 (83 percent), 36 (88 percent), and 33 (81 percent) of individuals, respectively.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that the BREAST-Q Augmentation module detected significant benefits of breast augmentation surgery, as assessed by both group-level and individual-level responsiveness indices. Importantly, this finding strongly supports the hypothesis that cosmetic breast augmentation can have a significant and profound positive impact on a woman's satisfaction with her breasts and her psychosocial and sexual well-being.

Clinical question/level of evidence: Therapeutic, IV.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Implantation / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Mammaplasty / methods
  • Mammaplasty / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult