5 October 1998

Big Boobs - Bad Breathing

Plastic surgeons hoping to grow their business should perhaps look to the results of a study presented at the 67th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASPRS) in Boston. The study suggests that among the benefits of breast reduction surgery is a measurable improvement in breathing and lung function.

"Other studies in the past have documented that certain physical and psychological symptoms are improved with breast reduction surgery," said Rajiv Sood, MD, associate professor of surgery, Section of Plastic Surgery, Hand and Microsurgery, Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis, "but now we can show that there is also significant improvement in lung function tests, which are objectively measured criteria."

The prospective study included 44 patients, ranging in age from 18 to 63. Eight weeks after surgery, body measurements, questionnaires and pulmonary function tests were repeated and compared statistically to pre-operative tests. Among the criteria tested and calculated, three were significantly improved: inspiratory capacity (amount the patient breathes in), peak expiratory flow rate (rate at which the patient breathes out) and minute ventilatory volume (the amount of air moved in and out of the lungs).

Patients with larger body mass showed even greater improvement in minute ventilatory volume and peak expiratory flow rates with breast reduction.

"This study quantifies the improvement in lung function tests and provides important information for women who are considering breast reduction surgery," said Dr. Sood.

GoGo further to the ASPRS website for a fascinating look at the demographics of plastic surgery.