On RealSelf, a site where patients can rate cosmetic procedures with a “worth it” rating, breast augmentation patient satisfaction scores are among the highest of all plastic surgery procedures. I’ve seen the same levels of enthusiasm following breast enlargement at our practice. Beyond RealSelf ratings, there’s another evaluation system to determine patient satisfaction with breast enhancement procedures: the BREAST-Q test.
Understanding the BREAST-Q
Traditionally, hard data and photo analysis were used to measure whether or not a surgery was considered successful. However, there are more aspects to surgery than can be measured objectively, especially for aesthetic procedures like breast augmentation.
Formal assessments of surgical outcomes from the provider’s perspective have really failed to take into account the impact of surgery on the patient themselves and how the surgery has impacted their quality of life. The BREAST-Q was devised to address this lack.
Patients answer questions related to their appearance and quality of life, both before and after their breast surgery, across four separate testing modules that can be scored independently. Patient expectations are addressed, helping women understand not only the potential risks of the surgery, but also what a positive outcome will look like.
Learning what patients want from their procedures and understanding their priorities affects the decisions I make as a surgeon. My definition of “perfect results” might be different from my patients’. That’s why establishing clear communication during our initial consultation at my San Diego office is essential. Breast augmentation particularly impacts women in many ways besides physical appearance. I consider it my job to deliver the best results for every patient, and that means going beyond the technical aspects of surgery to include an improved quality of life as well.