A Study of the Patient Factors Affecting Reconstruction after Mastectomy for Breast Carcinoma

Panieri, Eugenio; Dent, David M.; Lazarus, Dirk; Hudson, Don A.; Murray, Elizabeth; Werner, I. Dudley
February 2003
American Surgeon;Feb2003, Vol. 69 Issue 2, p95
Academic Journal
Breast shape may be retained after surgery for breast cancer with either wide local excision (WLE) and radiotherapy or mastectomy (M) and immediate reconstruction (M+R). We determined the proportions of patients who would be suitable for these options, would accept them, and if they declined M+R their reasons for doing so. Over a 10-month period 177 women were assessed at a combined breast clinic by general and plastic surgeons and by radiation oncologists. A prospective record was made of the patient demographic data, the clinical decisions (and their reasons), and the patient choices (and their reasons). A transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap was the commonest method of reconstruction. One hundred thirty-five (76%) were judged to be suitable for locoregional surgery. Of these M+R was offered to 83 patients, whereas 53 were not considered because of combinations of cosmetic considerations (31), risk factors (25), old age (13), and oncological factors (nine). Fifty-one of the 83 (61%) offered M+R declined it because they preferred a simpler procedure (34), regarded breast appearance as unimportant (15), preferred breast conservation (five), did not have a partner (three), felt that they were too old (two), or had religious reasons (two). Ultimately 69 (51%) underwent M, 34 (25%) WLE, and 32 (24%) M+R. There was no correlation between acceptance or not of M+R and age, race, employment, education level, or marital status. We conclude that many patients were suitable for M+R, but fewer than half accepted it; this decision was unrelated to age, race, employment, or marital status.


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