How happy are cancer survivors with their breast reconstructions?
Friday, June 15, 2012
In 2011, more than 96,000 women in the U.S. got breast reconstructions, a figure that the American Society of Plastic Surgeons puts at 22 percent higher than it was in 2000. Does this big increase indicate that many carcinoma survivors are happy with their reconstructions after cancer?
According to a number of surveys, the answer appears to be a resounding yes.
Researchers parse reactions to reconstruction results
Several different clinical polls have been conducted in the past decade to determine how many women are pleased with their new breasts, and what factors into their satisfaction with the results of reconstruction.
For the most part, these surveys all converge on one ratio: three out of five. That is roughly the proportion of survivors who are satisfied with the results of reconstruction.
For instance, in 2006, researchers from the Erasmus Medical Center distributed surveys to 114 reconstruction recipients, often as many as three years after the operation. In all, exactly 60 percent of respondents said they were happy with their new figure. Those who were unsatisfied tended to be women who experienced complications or received little information on the procedure.
Other studies came to similar numbers
In 2008, a report in the journal Annals of Oncology announced that out of 377 recipients, 63 percent were somewhat or very satisfied. Interestingly, the research team also asked women who had only received mastectomies if they were happy with the results. Just 23 percent said yes.
Most recently, a 2010 study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery estimated that 56 percent of women who get their breasts reconstructed with implants were happy with the outcome.
Those most likely to be satisfied were younger than 40 years, had only recently received implants, had decided to get a reconstruction before consulting a doctor and/or had a prophylactic mastectomy.
2011 Reconstructive Demographics. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 2011. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Documents/news-resources/statistics/2011-statistics/2011-reconstructive-procedures-trends-statistics.pdf" rel="no_follow">http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Documents/news-resources/statistics/2011-statistics/2011-reconstructive-procedures-trends-statistics.pdf Accessed June 13, 2012.
Fernandez-Delgado J et al. Satisfaction with and psychological impact of immediate and deferred breast reconstruction. Annals of Oncology. 2008. 19(8): 1430-1434. http://annonc.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/8/1430.full" rel="no_follow">http://annonc.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/8/1430.full Accessed June 13, 2012.
Yueh JH et al. Patient satisfaction in postmastectomy breast reconstruction: a comparative evaluation of DIEP, TRAM, latissimus flap, and implant techniques. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. June 2010. 125(6):1585-95. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20517080" rel="no_follow">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20517080 Accessed June 13, 2012.
Bresser PJ et al. Satisfaction with prophylactic mastectomy and breast reconstruction in genetically predisposed women. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. May 2006. 117(6):1675-82; discussion 1683-4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16651934" rel="no_follow">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16651934 Accessed June 13, 2012.
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