What Would Women Choose When Given a Choice in Breast Reconstruction?

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Abstract

Background:

Reconstruction after mastectomy is an important milestone for many women treated for breast cancer. However, because many surgeons only offer their preferred method of reconstruction, it is not clear which approach women would choose if offered a genuine choice.

Methods:

Between 1998 and 2010, the breast reconstruction service at a major Australian teaching hospital was staffed by a single plastic surgeon trained in both prosthetic and autologous breast reconstruction techniques. The choices of all 837 women who underwent reconstruction were compared across time for publicly and privately funded patients using binary logistic regression.

Results:

Overall, women chose prosthetic over autologous reconstruction at a ratio of 4.7:1. This ratio increasingly favored prosthetic reconstruction over time, though less strongly for private patients who did not face a 3-year waiting list for autologous reconstruction.

Conclusions:

Financial constraints affected these women’s reconstruction choices. Nevertheless, and in contrast to the situation in the United States, these women clearly favored prosthetic over autologous reconstruction.

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