Long-term Patient-reported Outcomes Following Postmastectomy Breast Reconstruction: An 8-year Examination of 3268 Patients : Annals of Surgery

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Long-term Patient-reported Outcomes Following Postmastectomy Breast Reconstruction

An 8-year Examination of 3268 Patients

Nelson, Jonas A. MD∗,⊠; Allen, Robert J. Jr MD; Polanco, Thais MD; Shamsunder, Meghana MPH; Patel, Aadit R. MD, MS; McCarthy, Colleen M. MD, MS; Matros, Evan MD, MMSc, MPH; Dayan, Joseph H. MD; Disa, Joseph J. MD; Cordeiro, Peter G. MD; Mehrara, Babak J. MD; Pusic, Andrea L. MD, MHS

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Annals of Surgery 270(3):p 473-483, September 2019. | DOI: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000003467



To better understand the long-term patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in satisfaction and health-related quality of life (QOL) following post-mastectomy reconstruction (PMR) using the BREAST-Q, comparing PROs from patients undergoing implant-based breast reconstruction (IBR) or autologous breast reconstruction (ABR).

Summary of Background Data: 

Multiple studies have demonstrated growth in mastectomy rates and concurrent increase in PMR utilization. However, most studies examining PMR PROs focus on short postoperative time periods—mainly within 2 years.


BREAST-Q scores from IBR or ABR patients at a tertiary center were prospectively collected from 2009 to 2017. Mean scores and standard deviations (SDs) were calculated for satisfaction with breast, satisfaction with outcome, psychosocial well-being, physical well-being of the chest, and sexual well-being. Satisfaction with breasts and physical well-being of the chest were compared using regression models at postoperative years 1, 3, 5, and 7.


Overall, 3268 patients were included, with 336 undergoing ABR and 2932 undergoing IBR. Regression analysis demonstrated that ABR patients had greater postoperative satisfaction with breast scores at all timepoints compared with IBR patients. Postoperative radiation and mental illness adversely impacted satisfaction with breast scores. Furthermore, mental illness impacted physical wellbeing of the chest at all timepoints. IBR patients had satisfaction scores that remained stable over the study period.


This study presents the largest prospective examination of PROs in PMR to date. Patients who opted for ABR had significantly higher satisfaction with their breast and QOL at each assessed time point, but IBR patients had stable long-term satisfaction and QOL postoperatively.

Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

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