Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 1090–1095 | Cite as

The Effects of Aesthetic Breast Augmentation on Quality of Life, Psychological Distress, and Eating Disorder Symptoms: A Prospective Study

  • Kai M. M. SaariniemiEmail author
  • Marjo H. Helle
  • Asko M. Salmi
  • Hilkka H. Peltoniemi
  • Pia Charpentier
  • Hannu O. M. Kuokkanen
Original Article Breast



There are only a few studies that provide sufficient data regarding the effects of aesthetic breast augmentation on various aspects of quality of life. Significant improvement in body image, satisfaction with appearance, sexual attractiveness, and self-esteem has been observed in these studies. In contrast, however, a somewhat impaired general health-related quality of life has been reported at follow-up. Nevertheless, when considering the effects of aesthetic breast augmentation on eating habits, publications are lacking. We therefore decided to assess the effects of aesthetic breast augmentation on quality of life, psychological distress, and eating disorder symptoms.


This study included 79 consecutive women who underwent bilateral aesthetic augmentation mammaplasty. The women completed three outcome measures at baseline and at follow-up: the Eating Disorder Inventory, Raitasalo’s modification of the Beck Depression Inventory, and the 15D general quality-of-life questionnaire.


The mean age at baseline was 35 years (range = 18–52). The mean body mass index was 21.3 (range = 17.5–27.3). Sixty-five (82 %) women completed the outcome measures with a mean follow-up time of 7 months (range = 4–13). A significant improvement was observed in self-esteem and depression scores as well as body satisfaction from baseline to follow-up. Interpersonal trust also improved, and after the operation the women were more able to tolerate and understand their own feelings and sensations. A significant decrease in the overall risk for an eating disorder was also noted.


Aesthetic breast augmentation results in significant improvement in women’s body satisfaction and self-esteem. The level of risk for an eating disorder is also significantly reduced.

Level of Evidence III

This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors


Aesthetic breast augmentation Augmentation mammaplasty Quality of life Psychological Depression Anxiety Eating disorder 


Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai M. M. Saariniemi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marjo H. Helle
    • 1
  • Asko M. Salmi
    • 2
  • Hilkka H. Peltoniemi
    • 2
  • Pia Charpentier
    • 3
  • Hannu O. M. Kuokkanen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plastic SurgeryTampere University HospitalTampereFinland
  2. 2.Plastic Surgery Clinic KLHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Center for Eating DisordersHelsinkiFinland

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