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Higher senses of self-esteem, sexuality linked to breast augmentation

Gainesville, Fla. — Women who undergo breast enlargement procedures often experience a boost in self-esteem and feelings about their sexuality, according to a Science Daily report on a study conducted by a University of Florida nurse researcher.

The report says the study suggests that while plastic surgery should not be seen as a panacea for feelings of low self-worth or sexual attractiveness, it is important for health-care practitioners to understand the psychological benefits of such procedures.

The study’s findings appeared in a recent issue of Plastic Surgical Nursing.

The Science Daily report quotes the study’s author, Cynthia Figueroa-Haas, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Florida College of Nursing, as saying, “Many individuals, including health-care providers, have preconceived negative ideas about those who elect to have plastic surgery, without fully understanding the benefits that may occur from these procedures. This study provides the impetus for future studies related to self-esteem, human sexuality and cosmetic surgery.”

Figueroa-Haas studied 84 women between the ages of 21 and 57 years old, assessing their perceptions of self-esteem and sexuality before and after they underwent breast augmentation. Figueroa-Haas employed the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the Female Sexual Function Index in assessing patients’ responses.

The study found that the participants’ average self-esteem score increased from 20.7 to 24.9 on the 30-point Rosenberg scale, and that their average female sexual-function score increased from 27.2 to 31.4 on the 36-point FSF index. The study notes that a small number of participants showed no change in their levels of self-esteem or sexuality after surgery.

In addition, the study concludes that further research should be conducted to assess significant psychosocial issues that may arise after plastic surgery.

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