Staged expander-implant breast reconstruction (EIBR) and microsurgical abdominal flap breast reconstruction (MAFBR) are the most common modes of breast reconstruction (BR) in the United States. Whether the mode of breast reconstruction has an impact on patient quality of life (QoL) and satisfaction remains a question. A retrospective study was conducted identifying a population of 119 patients who underwent unilateral immediate BR. Only patients who were eligible for either EIBR or MAFBR based on preoperative characteristics were included in the study. The following parameters were retrieved: demographics, mode of reconstruction, cancer, recovery, QoL, and patient satisfaction. The latter two parameters were determined using the BREAST-Q BR module questionnaire. Two-way analysis of variance with mode of reconstruction and occurrence of complication as independent variables was used to determine the effect on patient satisfaction and QoL. The association between mode of reconstruction and patient response with each item of the QoL and satisfaction survey domains was analyzed. The overall response rate was 62.2 %. Non-respondents and respondents did not significantly differ in demographics, surgery type, cancer staging, adjuvant therapy, and complication rate. Age and BMI were significantly higher in MAFBR, while level of education was higher in EIBR. MAFBR had higher scores in psychosocial and sexual wellbeing, satisfaction with outcome, breast, information, and plastic surgeon when compared with patients who underwent EIBR. For patients eligible for both MAFBR and EIBR, MAFBR is associated with higher levels of satisfaction and QoL. Comprehensive pre-operative information of pros and cons of both modes of BR is crucial for patients to make a well-informed decision, thus, resulting in higher levels of satisfaction.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s10549-014-2981-z
View details for Web of Science ID 000338219300012