p>Oren Lapid, MD, PhD Leonard U. M. Corion, MD Mark J. C. S. Smeulders, MD, PhDJan A. Swinkels, MD, PhD Chantal M. A. M. van der Horst, MD, PhD
Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Volume 34, Issue 5, 1 July 2014, Pages 719–722
Published: 01 July 2014
Patients who desire reduction mammaplasty (RM) also may seek relief from social and emotional challenges that accompany their physical condition, including low self-confidence and impaired body image. Reduction mammaplasty is known to improve patients’ physical and psychological well-being. It may be speculated that patients who undergo RM are motivated by psychological problems and have psychopathologies. Health care insurers reluctant to cover the expense of this surgery may cite mental health as a reason to deny coverage.
The authors assessed the psychopathological profile of patients who presented for RM, utilizing a validated instrument, and compared scores with standard norm values.
Preoperatively, 67 women were assessed with the Symptom Checklist-90–Revised (SCL-90–R), a validated instrument for evaluating a broad range of psychopathological problems and symptoms. The SCL-90–R provides a general psychoneurosis score, as well as scores for 8 symptom subscales.
The mean patient age was 36 ± 11.2 years. The mean (SD) total score on the SCL-90–R was 130 (38.7), which was not significantly higher than the norm score of 123. Only the subscores for somatization and sleep disturbance were significantly higher than the norm scores for these subscales.
Compared with the norm score for women who presented with chronic pain, the total score for our study population was significantly lower.
Patients who undergo RM have normal scores for psychoneurosis according to the SCL-90–R. Health care insurance coverage for RM should not be denied on the basis that the motivation for surgery relates to psychopathology. Additionally, psychological testing is not recommended for most patients who desire breast reduction surgery; rather, clinical judgment based on common sense should be applied.
Level of Evidence: 3