A small study looked at satisfaction rates among women who underwent autologous tissue flap reconstruction and those who underwent implant-based reconstruction. Ninety-two women were surveyed using a questionnaire called the "BREAST-Q." The results from the study are included in this month's issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®.

So, one of the most noteworthy results to come out of the study was the difference in satisfaction rates. The survey found women who underwent autologous tissue reconstruction had an average satisfaction score of 75 out of 100 when scoring their satisfaction with breast reconstruction. The women who received implant-based reconstruction had a satisfaction score of about 65 out of 100. Also, it's important to note that 47 of the women underwent autologous reconstruction, while 45 had implant reconstruction.

Although it may seem at first glance as though the women who underwent the autologous technique had greater satisfaction rates, in fact the researchers said there were some important differences between the two groups that may explain the differing score averages:

  1. Age. For autologous reconstruction, the women were an average of 51 years old, while the implant-reconstruction group averaged about 44 years old.
  2. Delayed vs. single stage. Autologous reconstruction tended to be delayed by about 21 months after surgery, while most of the implant reconstructions were performed immediately.
  3. Single vs. double mastectomy. Women receiving breast implants were more likely to have undergone double mastectomy.
  4. Demographics. Women undergoing autologous reconstruction were more likely to undergo radiation, were less educated, and had higher body weights.

Researchers have suggested that the difference in satisfaction rates may have more to do with the differences in the patient groups than with the actual procedures. For instance, researchers suggested younger women may have higher expectations of immediate breast reconstruction than the women who received delayed reconstruction. More research will be underway to interpret the results of this study.

Each woman has a right to choose the reconstructive breast technique that will be right for her. Our experienced and board-certified plastic surgeons have the knowledge, compassion and skills to explain all of your options and help you choose the one with which you will be most satisfied.

To schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon in the greater Denver area to discuss your breast reconstruction options, please contact the Breast Center – Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery, or call us at (720) 457-4461.