Background: The discovery of a cadre of breast cancer susceptibility genes has resulted in an increase in the number of women seeking information about prophylactic breast surgery, but virtually no large-scale prospective databases exist to assist women considering prophylactic mastectomy.
Methods: The authors constructed a National Prophylactic Mastectomy Registry comprised of a volunteer population of 817 women from 43 states who have undergone prophylactic mastectomy.
Results: In the registry, 370 women had undergone bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. Twenty-one (5%) women expressed regrets about the procedure. The median follow-up was 14.6 years (mean 14.8 years; range 0.2–51 years). Those with regrets were subsetted into those with major (n=10) or minor (n=7) regrets. Regrets were more common in those women with whom discussion about prophylactic mastectomy was initiated by a physician (19/255), compared with patients who initiated the discussion themselves (2/108;P<.05).
Conclusions: The overall satisfaction rate of 95% reported here may be explained by the voluntary nature of this registry. The most important factor that predicts an unfavorable outcome following bilateral prophylactic mastectomy is a physician-initiated discussion.