Breast Reconstruction Using Patient’s Own Tissues Rather Than Implants Yields Higher Satisfaction Rates
For women who have undergone mastectomy, breast reconstruction using the patient's own tissues – rather than implants – provides higher satisfaction scores, reports a study in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
But the findings may at least partly reflect differences in the characteristics of women choosing different options for breast reconstruction, according to the study by plastic surgeon Dr. Yassir Eltahir and colleagues of University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands.
The researchers used the recently developed "BREAST-Q" questionnaire to analyze patient satisfaction and quality of life after breast reconstruction. The BREAST-Q was designed to gauge these important outcomes from the patient's point of view.
The study included BREAST-Q surveys completed by 92 women who had breast reconstruction between 2006 and 2010. Forty-seven women underwent autologous reconstruction, with the patient's own tissues – generally "donor" flaps from the abdomen – used to create the new breast. The remaining 45 women underwent alloplastic reconstruction, using implants.
The results suggested that women choosing reconstruction with their own tissues were more satisfied with the results. Scores for satisfaction with the reconstructed breasts averaged about 75 (on a 100-point scale) after autologous reconstruction versus 65.5 for implant-based reconstruction.