Outcomes following prosthetic breast reconstruction have been well studied. However, the majority of studies are limited by short-term follow-up and a lack of aesthetic and patient-reported outcomes. This study objectively examines long-term surgeon- and patient-reported outcomes following two-stage prosthetic breast reconstruction.
Consecutive patients undergoing two-stage prosthetic breast reconstruction from 1994 to 2016 performed by the senior author (P.G.C.), with at least 1-year follow-up after implant exchange, were reviewed retrospectively. Long-term surgeon-reported outcomes, including aesthetic and capsular contracture scores, and patient-reported outcomes using the BREAST-Q, were recorded at each outpatient visit and analyzed over the 12-year follow-up period.
Retrospective review revealed 2284 patients, or 3489 breasts, that fit the inclusion criteria. Aesthetic scores and capsular contracture rates remained stable over the entire follow-up period. Subset analysis demonstrated that bilateral and nonirradiated reconstructions consistently had the highest aesthetic scores, whereas unilateral irradiated breasts had the lowest. Irradiated breasts consistently had high rates of capsular contracture, although the extent of contracture improved over time in all patients. Patient-reported BREAST-Q scores showed either stability or improvement over time in all patients. Irradiated and nonirradiated patients demonstrated comparable long-term satisfaction with outcomes despite significant differences in satisfaction with their breasts.
The authors’ study, the largest of its kind, demonstrates that prosthetic breast reconstruction outcomes do not deteriorate over time. This stability is apparent in both long-term surgeon- and patient-reported outcomes data measured in the same patients. These results contradict the surgical dogma surrounding prosthetic breast reconstruction and therefore should be given significant consideration when counseling patients.
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