Breast reconstruction using implants is still the main breast reconstruction technique worldwide. Current debate within implant-based breast reconstruction is whether to perform a 1-stage (direct implant) or 2-stage (tissue expander/implant) reconstruction. Volume differences between a woman's native breast and changes in volume after breast reconstruction might be an important factor for a patient's choice between these types of reconstruction. Three-dimensional imaging facilitates objective breast volume estimates. The goal of this study was to investigate differences between the patient's natural breast and the volume after completed breast reconstruction. One- and two-stage implant-based breast reconstruction techniques were compared. Finally, it was assessed whether patient satisfaction is causally related with the final breast volume after reconstruction.Methods and Results
A total of 38 patients were included in the study, including 35 two-stage breast reconstructions and 27 one-stage reconstructions. Preoperative and postoperative 3-dimensional images of the breast with the Vectra XT Imaging system were taken. Volume analysis was performed to estimate the patient's native breast volume. Implant size were derived from the operation report. A mean volume reduction for the 1-stage reconstruction group was found −1 mL, whereas an increase of +80 mL was found in the 2-stage reconstruction group (P < 0.005). Patient satisfaction related to volume outcome was not significantly different between both groups, using the Breast-Q questionnaire.Conclusions
This study shows that a 2-stage breast reconstruction has the potential of an increased breast volume compared with a similar breast volume in 1-stage reconstruction.