Psychosocial well-being at time of diagnosis of breast cancer affects the decision whether or not to undergo breast reconstruction

Renee Misere*, Sander Schop, Esther Heuts, Andrzej Piatkowski de Grzymala, Rene van der Hulst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: Numerous studies have shown that breast reconstruction after mastectomy improves QoL in breast cancer survivors. However, still about half of the patients does not opt for reconstruction. In order to accommodate suitable counseling, we should elucidate the factors that play a role in the decision-making process. This study aimed to evaluate the influence of QoL, among women diagnosed with breast cancer before the start of any treatment, on their decision whether or not to undergo breast reconstruction.

Materials and methods: BREAST-Q surveys were provided to breast cancer patients at the specialized breast care outpatient clinic after their first consultation with a surgical oncologist, between June 2017 and March 2019. The Q-scores of the subdomains physical well-being, psychosocial well-being, sexual well-being, and satisfaction with breasts of patients that underwent mastectomy were statistically analyzed.

Results: Sixty-seven patients, undergoing mastectomy, completed the questionnaire. Fifty-four percent received reconstructive surgery. Mean age of patients seeking breast reconstruction was significantly lower than patients who did not opt for a reconstruction (53.5 vs. 63.7). Mean follow-up after mastectomy was 18.1 months. Except for satisfaction with breasts, mean Q-scores were higher in the group of patients who did not choose for reconstructive surgery. Psychosocial well-being was significantly higher in the non-reconstruction group (p = 0.012).

Conclusions: Psychosocial well-being at time of diagnosis of breast cancer was significantly higher in patients refraining from breast reconstructive surgery after mastectomy. Psychosocial characteristics might be essential for the decision-making process as well. Further prospective research should evaluate this. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd, BASO similar to The Association for Cancer Surgery, and the European Society of Surgical Oncology. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1441-1445
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Breast reconstruction
  • Mastectomy
  • Quality of life
  • Decision-making


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