All of us have come to know things by experience, and know these things to be true in spite of tangible proof. In medicine we are always being reminded to look for scientific validation of things that we know to be true from our experience. This is a phenomenon that will impact how we practice medicine more and more as time goes on.
Study Validates Experiences
This month, our major plastic surgery journal published a well thought out and conducted study of the impact of breast augmentation on women’s well being and quality of life. And guess what? There are no surprises. In a nut shell, the study showed that women are significantly more satisfied with the appearance of their breasts, their psychosocial well-being, and their sexual well-being after breast enlargement.
But, what was even more impressive, is the degree of this change. On a 0-to-100 scale, average scores increased from 27 to 70 for satisfaction with breasts, from 45 to 78 for psychosocial well-being, and from 35 to 72 for sexual well-being. More than 80 percent of women report “significant improvement” in satisfaction in these three areas. In fact, the impact of breast augmentation on women is equivalent to the impact of hip replacement on people who had this operation. Quite something, indeed.
For me, this is not new news, but it represents scientific evidence of what I see in my patients every day. Last year about 300,000 women had breast augmentations, making this the most common operation performed (also true in my practice). It seems pretty obvious to me that women would not continue to have this operation if it did not have a positive impact on their lives. Human nature is such that if something works, we do it and if something doesn’t, we don’t.
Just the same, it’s really great to have the science to back up common sense.
All the best,