Patient satisfaction with postmastectomy breast reconstruction
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BACKGROUND: At a time when the safety and effectiveness of breast implants remains under close scrutiny, it is important to provide reliable and valid evidence regarding patient outcomes. In the setting of postmastectomy reconstruction, patient satisfaction and quality of life may be the most significant outcome variables when evaluating surgical success. The objective of the current study was to identify predictors of patient satisfaction with breast appearance, including implant type, in a large sample of women who underwent breast reconstruction surgery using implants. METHODS: A multicenter, cross-sectional study design was used. A total of 672 women who had completed postmastectomy, implant-based reconstruction at 1 of 3 centers in North America were asked to complete the BREAST-Q (Reconstruction Module). Multivariate linear regression modeling was performed. RESULTS: Completed questionnaire data were available for 482 of the 672 patients. In 176 women, silicone implants were placed and in 306, saline implants were used. The multivariate model confirmed that patients' satisfaction with their breasts was significantly higher in patients with silicone implants (P = .016). The receipt of postmastectomy radiotherapy was found to have a significant, negative effect on breast satisfaction (P<.000) in both silicone and saline implant recipients. In addition, for women who received either silicone or saline implants, satisfaction diminished over time (P = .017). CONCLUSIONS: In the setting of postmastectomy reconstruction, patients who received silicone breast implants reported significantly higher satisfaction with the results of reconstruction than those who received saline implants. This information can be used to optimize shared medical decision-making by providing patients with realistic postoperative expectations.