The Influence of Marital Status on Contemporary Patterns of Postmastectomy Breast Reconstruction.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Marital status is known to influence quality of life, survival, and treatment decision-making after breast cancer diagnosis. We aimed to determine whether relationship status impacts contemporary patterns of immediate breast reconstruction.


Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-18 was used to identify females undergoing mastectomy for stage 0-III breast cancer from 1998 to 2014. Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate the association of relationship status with the likelihood of postmastectomy reconstruction. Patients were grouped by diagnosis year to assess change in the reconstructed population with time. Among younger patients ≤45 years, a generalized logistic model was used to predict reconstruction subtype.


Among 346,418 patients, reconstruction after mastectomy was more likely to occur in women with relationship support in the form of a marriage or partner [odds ratio (OR) 1.31; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.28-1.34; p<0.001]. Women who were separated (OR 0.76), single (OR 0.73), or widowed (OR 0.56) were significantly less likely than married women to undergo reconstruction (all p<0.001). During the 17-year study period, change in reconstruction rates with time varied by relationship status (interaction p=0.02), with reconstruction rates among divorced patients increasing more slowly than those among married and partnered women. Among younger women, subtype patterns varied by relationship status (p=0.004), with divorced women less likely to receive autologous over implant reconstruction (OR 0.87; p = 0.03).


Relationship status may influence decision-making regarding pursuit and type of postmastectomy reconstruction. Consideration of support networks of patients with breast cancer could facilitate tailored preoperative counseling by reconstructive surgeons.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sergesketter, AR; Thomas, SM; Lane, WO; Shammas, RL; Greenup, RA; Hollenbeck, ST

Published Date

  • May 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 72 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 795 - 804

PubMed ID

  • 30595415

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1878-0539

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1748-6815

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.bjps.2018.12.012


  • eng