The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2022 cycle requested a total of over $2.9 million dollars. The PSF Study Section subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated 115 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling almost $550,000 to support 19 plastic surgery research proposals.

ASPS/PSF leadership is committed to continuing to provide high levels of investigator-initiated research support to ensure that plastic surgeons have the needed research resources to be pioneers and innovators in advancing the practice of medicine.

Research Abstracts

Search The PSF database to have easy access to full-text grant abstracts from past PSF-funded research projects 2003 to present. All abstracts are the work of the Principal Investigators and were retrieved from their PSF grant applications. Several different filters may be applied to locate abstracts specific to a particular focus area or PSF funding mechanism.

Psychsocial Factors in Cosmetic Breast Augmentation

Principal Investigator
David Sarwer PhD


University of Pennsylvania

Funding Mechanism
Directed Research Grant

Focus Area
Breast (Cosmetic/Reconstructive)

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 236,888 women underwent cosmetic breast augmentation surgery in 2002. This represents an increase of approximately 600% since 1992, the year that the Food and Drug Administration, in response to concerns about the safety and efficacy of silicone-gel breast implants, issued a moratorium on their use. Then-FDA Commissioner David Kessler called for further study of the physical safety and psychological benefits of breast implants. Several studies and literature reviews since have suggested that silicone implants are not associated with significant, long-term health problems. Nevertheless, several issues remain unresolved. A limited number of studies have investigated the motivational factors related to the pursuit of cosmetic breast augmentation or the psychological benefits that may occur postoperatively. Similarly, few studies have investigated the relationship of postoperative complications, experienced by approximately 10-25% of women, and psychological outcomes. The proposed study will assess the psychological status of 3 groups of women: 40 women who undergo cosmetic breast augmentation surgery, 40 women who are considering breast augmentation surgery, and 40 physically similar women who undergo other cosmetic procedures. We predict that women interested in cosmetic breast augmentation, as compared to those who undergo other cosmetic procedures, will report greater motivation for and knowledge about breast augmentation. They also will report fewer concerns about the safety of breast implants and report greater awareness and internalization of sociocultural ideals of beauty. Women who undergo cosmetic breast augmentation, as compared to women who do not receive breast implants, will report greater improvements in quality of life, body image, self-esteem as well as relationship and sexual satisfaction postoperatively. The experience of an implant-related complication, however, will be related to decreased levels of satisfaction with the procedure and smaller improvements in psychological status. If confirmed, these results will provide important information on the psychological benefits of breast implants.