A prospective study of psychosocial and psychodynamic patients' reactions to breast reconstruction


A survey was conducted on 46 patients who have required breast reconstruction. Each patient was studied for about four months before breast reconstruction. Patients were submitted to interviews and psychodiagnostic tests. The interview was designed to gather information about the impact of mastectomy on patients' sexuality, social life and mood, and about their motivation to have breast reconstruction. Afterwards, patients were asked to draw a female human figure to gather information about their body image. Patients subsequently received a copy of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). This test provides an objective assessment on some personality characteristics affecting personal and social adjustment. Six months after reconstruction, patients were again studied. Thirty patients were interviewed by the same clinical psychologist in the same setting as the first time. This time, the degree of satisfaction with the cosmetic surgical outcome, the acceptance of the prosthesis, and the influence of reconstruction on sexual, social life and patient's mood were assessed. Each patient was asked also to draw a female human figure and received a copy of the personality test. Comparing by paired statistics the data of the two evaluations, we obtained a statistical difference at the Human Figure Test and at the clinical scale of Hypochondria (Hs) of the MMPI. Our data indicate that nearly all patients sought breast reconstruction for several motives which are present simultaneously. Furthermore, our data indicate that breast reconstruction affects the quality of life of women, especially their mood, sexual life and body image.

DOI: 10.1007/BF00181097

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@article{Filiberti2004APS, title={A prospective study of psychosocial and psychodynamic patients' reactions to breast reconstruction}, author={Antonio Filiberti and Monica Callegari and Alexandra Rimoldi and Mario Tamburini and Vittorio Zanini and Andrea Grisotti}, journal={European Journal of Plastic Surgery}, year={2004}, volume={17}, pages={307-311} }