Women’s expectations of breast reconstruction following mastectomy for breast cancer: a systematic review
The aim of immediate breast reconstruction is to improve well-being and quality of life for women undergoing mastectomy for breast cancer. This prospective study used the SF-36 Health Survey questionnaire to assess quality of life before and 12 months after mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction together with patients' expectations of and satisfaction with the immediate breast reconstruction with implant. Scores for 76 participants were compared with those in 920 age-matched women from the general population. Preoperative scores for emotional well-being and physical role functioning were lower than in the reference population, while after 12 months the scores in all domains had improved and were comparable with those in the reference population. The most common reason for immediate reconstruction was the desire to avoid an external prosthesis. Most women were satisfied with immediate reconstruction, and the major determinant of aesthetic satisfaction was completion of the procedure. Although many factors may influence quality of life, 1 year after breast cancer surgery with immediate reconstruction scores are equivalent to those of the normal population.