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Breast Reconstruction May Improve Work Ability and Productivity After Breast Cancer Surgery

Ortega, Carolina Cristina Farias MSc*; Veiga, Daniela Francescato MD, PhD*†; Camargo, Kamila MD; Juliano, Yara PhD§∥; Sabino Neto, Miguel MD, PhD; Ferreira, Lydia Masako MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000001562
Breast Surgery

Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate work ability and productivity in women who had undergone different types of surgical treatment for breast cancer, as well as breast reconstruction after mastectomy.

Methods This cross-sectional study assessed 152 women between 30 and 60 years of age, who worked outside the home in formal or informal jobs, or as self-employed. Thirty-eight of them had no history of breast cancer (control group), and 114 had undergone surgical treatment for breast cancer at least 1 year before their enrollment in the study, and were allocated as follows: mastectomy group (n = 38), breast-conserving surgery group (n = 38), or breast reconstruction breast reconstruction group (n = 38). The validated Brazilian versions of the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment-General Health questionnaire and Work Limitations Questionnaire were self-administered.

Results The groups were homogeneous regarding age, education level, and other sociodemographic characteristics. Patients in the mastectomy and breast-conserving surgery groups showed reduced work performance and productivity compared with women in the breast reconstruction and control groups (P = 0.0004 and P = 0.0006, respectively). In addition, women in the mastectomy group had more difficulty in performing activities of daily living compared with those in other groups (P = 0.0121).

Conclusions Women who had undergone mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery had decreased work ability and productivity compared with women without a history of breast cancer and to those who had undergone breast reconstruction.

From the *Graduate Program in Translational Surgery, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo;

Division of Plastic Surgery, Universidade do Vale do Sapucaí,

Universidade do Vale do Sapucaí, and

§Department of Biostatistics, Universidade do Vale do Sapucaí, Pouso Alegre;

Universidade de Santo Amaro; and

Division of Plastic Surgery, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Received March 18, 2018, and accepted for publication, after revision May 24, 2018.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais–FAPEMIG, Brazil, provided a scientific initiation scholarship for K.C., which allowed her participation in the study.

Reprints: Daniela F. Veiga, MD, PhD, Rua Botucatu 740, 2°. andar, Vila Clementino, CEP 04023-900 São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. E-mail:

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