Implant Breast Reconstruction and Radiation: A Multicenter Analysis of Long-Term Health-Related Quality of Life and Satisfaction
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BACKGROUND: Indications for radiotherapy in breast cancer treatment are expanding. Long-term satisfaction and health-related quality of life (HR-QOL), important outcomes after alloplastic breast reconstruction and radiation, have not been measured in irradiated patients by using a condition-specific, validated patient-reported outcomes instrument. The aim was to evaluate patient satisfaction and HR-QOL in patients with implant breast reconstruction and radiotherapy. METHODS: A multicenter cross-sectional survey of patients who underwent implant-based breast reconstruction from three centers in the United States and Canada, with and without radiation, was performed. Satisfaction with breasts, satisfaction with outcome, psychosocial well-being, sexual well-being, and physical well-being outcomes were evaluated using the BREAST-Q(©) (Reconstruction Module). Multivariable analysis was performed to evaluate the effect of radiotherapy on patient satisfaction with breasts with adjustment by patient and treatment characteristics. RESULTS: The response rate was 71 %, with 633 completed questionnaires returned. Mean follow-up was 3.3 years for irradiated patients (n = 219) and 3.7 years for nonirradiated patients (n = 414). Patients with radiation had significantly lower satisfaction with breasts (58.3 vs. 64.0; p < 0.01), satisfaction with outcome (66.8 vs. 71.4; p < 0.01), psychosocial well-being (66.7 vs. 70.9; p < 0.01), sexual well-being (47.0 vs. 52.3; p < 0.01), and physical well-being (71.8 vs. 75.1; p < 0.01) compared with nonirradiated patients. Multivariable analysis confirmed the negative effect of radiotherapy on satisfaction with breasts (β = -2.6; p = 0.03) when adjusted for patient and treatment factors. CONCLUSIONS: Radiotherapy has a negative effect on HR-QOL and satisfaction with breasts in patients with implant reconstruction compared with nonirradiated patients. The information provided here can inform decision-making and help set appropriate expectations for patients undergoing implant breast reconstruction and radiation.
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