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The purpose of this study was to prospectively assess changes in overall health-related quality of life and breast-related symptoms in women undergoing reduction mammaplasty, and to compare preoperative and postoperative health-related quality of life with that of the normal population.Fifty-six patients were evaluated preoperatively and 6 months postoperatively with three questionnaires: the Short Form-36 Health Survey, the Symptom Inventory Questionnaire, and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Surgeons completed preoperative patient assessment forms, operative note forms, and postoperative patient assessment forms.Comparison of preoperative and postoperative health-related quality of life showed significant improvements in Short Form-36 Health Survey scores (p < 0.005), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (p < 0.001), and all symptoms on the Symptom Inventory Questionnaire (p < 0.003). Preoperative mean Short Form-36 Health Survey scores were lower than in the normal population in several areas (p < 0.005). Postoperatively, none of the mean Short Form-36 Health Survey scores were significantly lower than population norms.This study determined that there is a significant improvement of physical symptoms and health-related quality of life in women undergoing reduction mammaplasty at 6 months after surgery. Before surgery, these patients have a significantly worse health-related quality of life than the normal population, but they normalize postoperatively.