Immediate Breast Reconstruction after Mastectomy - Why do Women Choose this Option?


Introduction: Mastectomy is an essential but disfiguring operation in cancer treatment. The negative impacton body image can however be prevented by immediate reconstruction. Aim: The aim of this study was todetermine the reasons why patients choose to have or not to have immediate breast reconstruction. Methodology:This is a cross sectional descriptive study of breast cancer patients post-mastectomy who had and had notundergone immediate breast reconstruction. The patients were asked a series of questions to ascertain the reasonswhy they chose or did not choose immediate breast reconstruction.
Results: 136 patients in total were interviewedof which 23 had undergone immediate breast reconstruction. 36.8% of the patients had been offeredreconstruction. In the non-reconstructed group, the main reason for not having reconstruction were fear ofadditional surgery. In the group that had reconstruction done, the main reason was to feel whole again. Low onthe list were reasons such as trying to improve marital or sexual relations.
Conclusion: Only a third of patientsundergoing mastectomy were offered immediate reconstruction. In public hospitals in developing countries,limited operating time and availability of plastic surgery services are major barriers to more women beingoffered the option.