Reduction Mammaplasty in Patients with Bulimia Nervosa


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Abstract

Women with eating disorders have been disqualified as candidates for plastic surgery. We present a group of 6 young women with bulimia nervosa who presented with clinically symptomatic evidence of macromastia. All patients reported that dysfunctional eating habits, at least in part, where due to breast enlargement. Five patients underwent bilateral reduction mammaplasty. Patients were interviewed postoperatively and reported relief of physical symptoms and improvement in psychological well-being. Symptoms of eating disorders were completely eliminated or greatly reduced. This series has supported the contention that macromastia can produce a distortion of body image and become a secondary cause of eating disorders. Surgical correction of large breasts has improved body image, leads to the amelioration of associated eating disorders, and may in part represent a surgical treatment for a psychological abnormality. The presence of an eating disorder should not, therefore, automatically exclude a patient from surgical consideration. Routine preoperative evaluation of young women seeking plastic surgery should include a set of standard questions regarding eating behaviors.

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