Racial and socioeconomic disparities in access and quality of surgical care are well documented in many surgical subspecialties, including plastic surgery.
Here, we aim to determine if demographic disparities exist in preoperative and postoperative satisfaction after breast reduction mammaplasty, using patient-reported quality of life (QoL) scores.
Patients who underwent breast reduction mammaplasty between 2015 – 2020 were identified. Patients that underwent complex concomitant procedures were excluded. Patient demographics and QoL, as measured by the BREAST-Q, were extracted. Wilcoxon Rank Sum and Kruskal Wallis tests were used to compare QoL scores across demographic subgroups.
115 patients met inclusion criteria. QoL improved across all four BREAST-Q domains (all p<0.001). Disparities were shown to exist in the following: median income vs. postoperative satisfaction with information (p<0.001), BMI vs. preoperative physical well-being (p<0.001), and ethnicity vs. preoperative physical well-being (p=0.003). A sub-group analysis of Caucasian patients compared to Black/African American patients revealed significant inequalities in BMI (p<0.001), median income by zip code (p<0.001), improvement in satisfaction with breasts (p=0.039), satisfaction with information (p=0.007), and satisfaction with office staff (p=0.044).
Racial and socioeconomic inequalities exist in terms of preoperative and postoperative satisfaction for patients undergoing breast reduction mammaplasty. Institutions ought to focus on developing tools for equitable and inclusive patient education and perioperative counseling.

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