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Study tracks impact of reduction mammaplasties on teens

Higher incidence of childhood obesity and increased body awareness among adolescents have combined to spur a substantial rise in the number of reduction mammaplasties being performed on teenaged patients.

In an effort to analyze the indications, complications and long-term outcomes of these procedures in teenaged patients, researchers from Sheffield Children’s Hospital in England undertook a retrospective review of 36 females less than 19 years of age (mean age, 17.4 years) who had undergone unilateral or bilateral reduction mammaplasty. The researchers compiled data on patient demographics, mechanical and psychological symptoms and postoperative complications, then carried out a qualitative prospective questionnaire study between five and 13 years following surgery. Responses were rated using the Likert Scaling system to assess surgery benefits.

According to the study, the most common pre-surgery mechanical symptoms were back and neck pain, difficulty sleeping and intertrigo. The principal psychological complaints were increased self-consciousness, low self-esteem, depression and bullying. Following surgery and follow-up, 67 percent of patients reported experiencing an immediate resolution of mechanical symptoms, while 47 percent reported an improvement in psychological symptoms.

“Reduction mammaplasty is especially beneficial in this group of patients as they suffer increased psychological comorbidities versus their adult counterparts,” the authors write. “Patients need to be adequately assessed and counseled for optimal outcome.”

The study was published in the European Journal of Plastic Surgery.

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