Background: One-stage direct-to-implant post-mastectomy breast reconstruction has been gaining popularity over the traditional two-stage/tissue-expander approach.
Objectives: To evaluate the outcome of the two post-mastectomy breast reconstruction procedures in terms of patient satisfaction.
Methods: Clinical data were collected by file review for patients who underwent mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction at two tertiary medical centers in 2010–2013. Patients were asked to complete the BREAST-Q instrument, sent to them by post with a self-addressed, stamped, return envelope. Scores were compared by type of reconstruction performed.
Results: Of the 92 patients who received the questionnaire, 59 responded: 39 had one-stage breast reconstruction and 20 underwent two-stage reconstruction. The two-stage reconstruction group was significantly older, had more background diseases, and were followed for a longer period. The one-stage reconstruction group had a higher proportion of BRCA mutation carriers. There was no significant between-group difference in postoperative complications. Mean BREAST-Q scores were similar in the two groups for all dimensions except satisfaction with information, which was higher in the patients after one-stage reconstruction. Women with more background diseases had better sexual well-being, and married women had better psychological well-being. Breast satisfaction was lower among patients treated with radiation and higher among patients with bilateral reconstruction; the latter subgroup also had higher physical well-being. Complications did not affect satisfaction.
Conclusions: Patients were equally satisfied with the outcome of one- and two-stage breast reconstruction. The choice of technique should be made on a case-by-case basis. Cost analyses are needed to construct a decision-making algorithm.