Dissatisfaction After Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction: A Mixed-Methods Study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Breast reconstruction is associated with improved patient well-being after mastectomy; however, factors that contribute to post-surgical dissatisfaction remain poorly characterized. METHODS: Adult women who underwent post-mastectomy implant-based or autologous breast reconstruction between 2015 and 2019 were recruited to participate in semi-structured interviews regarding their lived experiences with reconstructive care. Participants completed the BREAST-Q, and tabulated scores were used to dichotomize patient-reported outcomes as satisfied or dissatisfied (high or low) for each BREAST-Q domain. A convergent mixed-methods analysis was used to evaluate interviews for content related to satisfaction or dissatisfaction with breast reconstruction. RESULTS: Overall, we interviewed 21 women and identified 17 subcodes that corresponded with the five BREAST-Q domains. Sources of dissatisfaction were found to be related to the following domains: (a) low breast satisfaction due to asymmetry, cup size, and lack of sensation and physical feeling (n = 8, 38%); (b) poor sexual well-being due to shape, look and feel (n = 7, 78% [of 9 who discussed sexual well-being]); (c) reduced physical well-being of the chest due to persistent pain and weakness (n = 11, 52%); (d) reduced abdominal well-being due to changes in abdominal strength, numbness, and posture (n = 6, 38% [of 16 who underwent abdominally based reconstruction]); and (e) low psychosocial well-being impacted by an unexpected appearance that negatively influenced self-confidence and self-identity (n = 13, 62%). CONCLUSION: Patients may be unprepared for the physical, sexual, and psychosocial outcomes of breast reconstruction. Targeted strategies to improve preoperative education and shared decision making are needed to mitigate unexpectedness associated with breast reconstruction and related outcomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shammas, RL; Fish, LJ; Sergesketter, AR; Offodile, AC; Phillips, BT; Oshima, S; Lee, CN; Hollenbeck, ST; Greenup, RA

Published Date

  • February 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 29 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 1109 - 1119

PubMed ID

  • 34460034

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1534-4681

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1245/s10434-021-10720-9


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States