Immediate breast reconstruction 'can minimise psychological impact of mastectomy'

3 October 2016

Patients receiving breast reconstruction following a mastectomy can minimise the psychological impact of the procedure by undergoing it immediately.

This is according to research from the University of Toronto, which assessed 106 patients with breast cancer who received a mastectomy followed by breast reconstruction using their own tissue.

Of these, 30 underwent immediate breast reconstruction (IBR), performed during the same surgical procedure as the mastectomy itself, while the other 76 patients underwent delayed breast reconstruction (DBR), performed an average of three years after mastectomy.

Before mastectomy, 26 per cent of patients had abnormal anxiety scores and nine per cent had abnormal depression scores. Although anxiety decreased after breast reconstruction in both groups, women in the DBR group scored lower on measures of body image, sexuality and health-related quality of life after the procedure.

This suggests that DBR patients experienced significant psychosocial distress during the waiting period between mastectomy and breast reconstruction, although these differences evened out over time.

Study leader Dr Toni Zhong of the University of Toronto said: "In patients who are suitable oncological candidates for IBR and are strongly motivated, every effort should be made to coordinate IBR with mastectomy."

Posted by Edward Bartel


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