This review aimed to meta-analyze the quality of life of alloplastic versus autologous breast reconstruction, when measured with the BREAST-Q.
An electronic PubMed and EMBASE search was designed to find articles that compared alloplastic versus autologous breast reconstruction using the BREAST-Q. Studies that failed to present BREAST-Q scores and studies that did not compare alloplastic versus autologous breast reconstruction were excluded. Two authors independently extracted data from the included studies. A standardized data collection form was used. Quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. The mean difference and 95 percent confidence intervals between breast reconstruction means were estimated for each BREAST-Q subscale. Forest plots and the I2 statistic were used to assess heterogeneity and funnel plot publication bias. The Z test was used to assess overall effects.
Two hundred eighty abstracts were found; 10 articles were included. Autologous breast reconstruction scored significantly higher in the five subscales than alloplastic breast reconstruction. The Satisfaction with Breasts subscale indicated the greatest difference, with a mean difference of 6.41 (95 percent CI, 3.58 to 9.24; I2 = 70 percent). The Satisfaction with Results subscale displayed a mean difference of 5.52. The Sexual Well-Being subscale displayed a mean difference of 3.85. The Psychosocial Well-Being subscale displayed a mean difference of 2.64. The overall difference in physical well-being was significant, with high heterogeneity (mean difference, 3.33; 95 percent CI, 0.18 to 6.48; I2 = 85).
Autologous breast reconstruction had superior outcomes compared with alloplastic breast reconstruction as measured by the BREAST-Q.