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Breast Reconstruction Improves Quality of Life

Breast Reconstruction Improves Quality of Life


Much greater satisfaction can be gained by undergoing a breast reconstruction than having no operation at all a recent study has found.

Over 80 per cent of patients surveyed who had undergone a breast reconstruction procedure indicated a high level of satisfaction and almost all patients irrespective of outcome would recommend reconstruction to others.

Satisfaction was measured in terms of a range of factors including social confidence, ability to choose clothes and partner satisfaction.

“The overwhelming majority, some 96 per cent of patients scored a high level of satisfaction after having a breast reconstruction,” said Dr Meredith Simcock a Plastic Surgical Registrar at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland who was involved in conducting the research.

“It is absolutely critical with this type of operation to look at factors like body image when trying to gain a true measure of a patients satisfaction given we are dealing with a part of a women’s anatomy which is bound up with so much symbolism. It’s not as simple as surveying the physical results we need to also look at the psychological outcomes too,” she says

“Overall satisfaction scores indicated by mastectomy patients who did not undergo a breast reconstruction were significantly lower compared to those patients who did.

“The fact that demand for the operation has risen dramatically over the last six years to the point that it now exceeds the available resources in itself indicates that patients are experiencing a high level of satisfaction.

“The operation is vastly improving year by year with more refined techniques and nerve regeneration technology developing tissue which better resembles a real breast with real sensation,” she said

“We felt it was also critical to involve partners and measure their levels of satisfaction and to date we know of no other research which has done this, so the research is totally unique in this way.

A paper “Outcomes of Breast Reconstruction: Patient Satisfaction Measures Success” will be presented today by Dr Meredith Simcock today at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

The scientific gathering attracts up to 1500 medical specialists from around the world and is being held over four days between Tuesday 6 May and Friday 9 May, 2003. For more information contact: The ASC Media team: +61 407 339 556, Lina Caneva +61 412 316 368 or Sarah Priest +61 3 9276 7430

Source: Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

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