Objectives: We aimed to determine the relation between breast reconstruction method, patient satisfaction, and surgeon reported cosmetic outcome among women who underwent breast reconstruction after mastectomy.
Study Design: A cross-sectional study of patients treated between 2006 and 2010.
Main Outcome: Women's satisfaction with cosmetic outcomes after breast reconstruction.
Measures: Cosmetic outcomes were evaluated by (1) women using the Breast-Q to rate satisfaction with breasts outcomes, and (2) an independent panel using the Strasser score. The relationships between the Breast-Q rating, Strasser scores, and breast reconstruction methods, including laterality and timing, were evaluated by Mann-Whitney U tests, Spearman's rank correlations, and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests.
Results: Ninety-four women were included. Patients were more satisfied with their breasts if they had undergone autologous, unilateral, or secondary breast reconstruction compared with those who underwent alloplastic, bilateral, or primary breast reconstruction (p-values 0.008, 0.011, and 0.001, respectively). The Strasser system did not reveal significant cosmetic differences, with all breast reconstructions graded as mediocre or poor.
Conclusions: Patient satisfaction with breast outcomes, as measured by the Breast-Q, was described as mediocre or poorly reflected by the Strasser score. If doctors are to support patients to make informed decisions on the optimal method of breast reconstruction, we need a more sensitive, comprehensive tool reflecting patients' cosmetic outcomes.