Augmentation mammaplasty--psychiatric and psychosocial characteristics and outcome in a group of Swedish women

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Thirty-eight women undergoing augmentation mammaplasty, consecutively operated on at the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Malmo, Sweden, were studied preoperatively regarding medical history, personality, psychosocial and psychiatric characteristics. Thirty-six of these patients were interviewed one year postoperatively. Thirty-three age-matched women operated on with minor surgical out-patient procedures were used as a contrast group. The mammaplasty patients generally came from insecure homes with conflicts between parents and unsatisfactory emotional relations to both parents. Their educational as well as income level was significantly lower than the contrast group and they were socially isolated. Their sexual adaptation seemed to have been hampered by their sensitivity reactions towards their breasts but nonetheless most of them lived in stable heterosexual relations. Generally the augmentation mammaplasty patients were not psychiatrically abnormal apart from the negative evaluation of their physical attractiveness. The great majority of the women, 86%, were satisfied with the results of surgery. Postoperatively the patients changed their style of dressing, extended their leisure time activities and social contacts, improved their sexual life and relations to their spouse. Postoperative increase of nervous symptoms was reported by 39% of the patients, but about as many patients, 36%, reported decreased nervous symptoms. Difficulties in accepting the surgical result, sexual dysfunctions and negative mental reactions proved to be associated with specific personality characteristics. Various factors have previously been proposed as being usable in the prediction of adverse reactions after augmentation mammaplasty. None of these factors, however, proved in this study to correlate with postoperative maladaptation. A need for increased methodological stringency in predictor studies is indicated.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Surgery


  • plastic, prediction, psychological, adaptation, description, surgery, augmentation mammaplasty
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-208
JournalScandinavian Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Hand Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1987
Publication categoryResearch