The added value of immediate breast reconstruction to health-related quality of life of breast cancer patients

NABON Breast Cancer Audit Working Group, A C M van Bommel*, K M de Ligt, K Schreuder, J H Maduro, T Van Dalen, M T F D Vrancken Peeters, M A M Mureau, S Siesling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Postmastectomy immediate breast reconstruction (IBR) may improve the quality of life (QoL) of breast cancer patients. Guidelines recommend to discuss the option IBR with all patients undergoing mastectomy. However, substantial hospital variation in IBR-rates was previously observed in the Netherlands, influenced by patient, tumour and hospital factors and clinicians’ believes. Information provision about IBR may have a positive effect on receiving IBR and therefore QoL. This study investigated patient-reported QoL of patients treated with mastectomy with and without IBR. Methods: An online survey, encompassing the validated BREAST-Q questionnaire, was distributed to a representative sample of 1218 breast cancer patients treated with mastectomy. BREAST-Q scores were compared between patients who had undergone mastectomy either with or without IBR. Results: A total of 445 patients were included for analyses: 281 patients with and 164 without IBR. Patients who had received IBR showed significantly higher BREAST-Q scores on “psychosocial well-being” (75 versus 67, p < 0.001), “sexual well-being” (62 versus 52, p < 0.001) and “physical well-being” (77 versus 74, p = 0.021) compared to patients without IBR. No statistically significant difference was found for “satisfaction with breasts” (64 versus 62, p = 0.21). Similar results were found after multivariate regression analyses, revealing IBR to be an independent factor for a better patient-reported QoL. Conclusions: Patients diagnosed with breast cancer with IBR following mastectomy report a better QoL on important psychosocial, sexual and physical well-being domains. This further supports the recommendation to discuss the option of IBR with all patients with an indication for mastectomy and to enable shared decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1848-1853
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number10
Early online date11-Jun-2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2020


  • Breast cancer
  • Quality of life
  • Immediate breast reconstruction
  • Patient-centred care

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