Impact of Contralateral Symmetry Procedures on Long-Term Patient-Reported Outcomes following Unilateral Prosthetic Breast Reconstruction.

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Journal of reconstructive microsurgery

MeSH Headings

Adult, Breast, Breast Implants, Decision Making, Esthetics, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Mammaplasty, Mastectomy, Middle Aged, Patient Reported Outcome Measures, Patient Satisfaction, Retrospective Studies, Tissue Expansion Devices, Treatment Outcome


BACKGROUND:  One aim of unilateral postmastectomy breast reconstruction (BR) is to restore symmetry with the contralateral breast. As such, unilateral prosthetic reconstruction often requires a contralateral symmetry procedure (CSP). There is sparse literature on the impact of CSPs on long-term patient-reported outcomes (PROs) such as satisfaction and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This study aims to describe PROs following CSPs, using a validated PRO tool, BREAST-Q. The hypothesis is that CSPs are associated with greater patient-reported satisfaction and HRQoL.

METHODS:  This study is a single institutional analysis of prospectively collected BREAST-Q scores of patients who underwent unilateral prosthetic BR during 2011 to 2015. Women 18 years and older with BREAST-Q scores measured ≥ 9months after BR with or without CSP(s) at the time of expander replacement were included. Patients were classified into four subcohorts: augmentation, mastopexy, reduction, and no symmetry procedure (controls). Sociodemographic, clinical characteristics, and BREAST-Q scores were analyzed. Multivariable linear regression was performed.

RESULTS:  Of 553 patients, 67 (12%) underwent contralateral augmentation, 68 (12%) mastopexy, 93(17%) reduction, and 325 (59%) were controls. Mean follow-up time was 52 months. Satisfaction with breast and outcomes were higher in the augmentation compared with the control groups (

CONCLUSION:  Prosthetic reconstruction with contralateral breast augmentation was associated with greater satisfaction with breast and reconstructive outcome. In contrast, breast reduction and mastopexy procedures demonstrated equivalent satisfaction with breasts compared with controls but may be associated with lower physical well-being. Such information can be used to improve the shared decision-making process for women who choose unilateral prosthetic BR.



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