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South African Medical Journal

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Long-term psychological sequelae of augmentation mammoplasty

L. Schlebusch, I. Mahrt

Abstract


A request for elective surgery for augmentation mammoplasty (AM) is often associated with underlying psychopathology and high expectations of a positive psychological outcome. This study was designed to ascertain the long-term psychological sequelae of AM in a group of patients who were reassessed 3 years or more after surgery. The postoperative study cohort of 20 patients constituted 67% of the original sample that was psychologically assessed pre-operatively. The results show that the majority of patients benefited psychologically from the AM and had experienced an improvement in psychosexual functioning and a reduction of high pre-operative levels of negative body image, anxiety and depression. Although not all expectations had been met and basic personalities remained unchanged, most women had no regrets and would recommend AM to other women in similar circumstances. They had not, however, seriously considered the possibility of unsatisfactory postoperative outcome. The value of close liaison between mental health specialists and plastic surgeons is emphasised.




AJOL African Journals Online