Background: In recent years, there has been a growing acceptance of the value of breast reconstruction. The majority of women who choose to proceed will undergo alloplastic reconstruction. The primary objective of this study was to determine whether the type of implant used in alloplastic breast reconstruction has an impact on patient-reported satisfaction and quality of life.
Methods: Patients were deemed eligible if they had completed alloplastic reconstruction at least 1 year before study initiation. Patients were contacted by mail: two questionnaires [the BREAST-Q and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 (Br23) (EORTC QLQC30 (Br23))], a contact letter, and an incentive gift card were included. Scores were compared between silicone and saline implant recipients.
Results: Seventy-five silicone implant recipients and 68 saline implant recipients responded, for a response rate of 58 percent. BREAST-Q responses showed silicone implant recipients to have higher scores on all nine subscales. This difference reached statistical significance on four of nine subscales: overall satisfaction (p = 0.008), psychological well-being (p = 0.032), sexual well-being (p = 0.05), and satisfaction with surgeon (p = 0.019). Regression analysis adjusted for follow-up time, timing of surgery, unilateral versus bilateral surgery, radiation, and age. Results from the EORTC QLQC30 (Br23) showed a statistically significant difference on two of 22 subscales: silicone recipients had higher overall physical function, and saline recipients had higher systemic side effects.
Conclusions: This study has shown higher satisfaction with breast reconstruction in silicone gel implant recipients compared with saline recipients using the BREAST-Q. There was no difference in overall global health status between the two patient groups as measured by the EORTC-QLQC30 (Br23).