Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 21, Issue 7, pp 2159–2164 | Cite as

Implant Breast Reconstruction and Radiation: A Multicenter Analysis of Long-Term Health-Related Quality of Life and Satisfaction

  • Claudia R. Albornoz
  • Evan Matros
  • Colleen M. McCarthy
  • Anne Klassen
  • Stefan J. Cano
  • Amy K. Alderman
  • Nancy VanLaeken
  • Peter Lennox
  • Sheina A. Macadam
  • Joseph J. Disa
  • Babak J. Mehrara
  • Peter G. Cordeiro
  • Andrea L. PusicEmail author
Breast Oncology



Indications for radiotherapy in breast cancer treatment are expanding. Long-term satisfaction and health-related quality of life (HR-QOL), important outcomes after alloplastic breast reconstruction and radiation, have not been measured in irradiated patients by using a condition-specific, validated patient-reported outcomes instrument. The aim was to evaluate patient satisfaction and HR-QOL in patients with implant breast reconstruction and radiotherapy.


A multicenter cross-sectional survey of patients who underwent implant-based breast reconstruction from three centers in the United States and Canada, with and without radiation, was performed. Satisfaction with breasts, satisfaction with outcome, psychosocial well-being, sexual well-being, and physical well-being outcomes were evaluated using the BREAST-Q© (Reconstruction Module). Multivariable analysis was performed to evaluate the effect of radiotherapy on patient satisfaction with breasts with adjustment by patient and treatment characteristics.


The response rate was 71 %, with 633 completed questionnaires returned. Mean follow-up was 3.3 years for irradiated patients (n = 219) and 3.7 years for nonirradiated patients (n = 414). Patients with radiation had significantly lower satisfaction with breasts (58.3 vs. 64.0; p < 0.01), satisfaction with outcome (66.8 vs. 71.4; p < 0.01), psychosocial well-being (66.7 vs. 70.9; p < 0.01), sexual well-being (47.0 vs. 52.3; p < 0.01), and physical well-being (71.8 vs. 75.1; p < 0.01) compared with nonirradiated patients. Multivariable analysis confirmed the negative effect of radiotherapy on satisfaction with breasts (β = −2.6; p = 0.03) when adjusted for patient and treatment factors.


Radiotherapy has a negative effect on HR-QOL and satisfaction with breasts in patients with implant reconstruction compared with nonirradiated patients. The information provided here can inform decision-making and help set appropriate expectations for patients undergoing implant breast reconstruction and radiation.


Axillary Node Dissection Breast Reconstruction Minimal Important Difference Capsular Contracture Total Mastectomy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was funded by the Plastic Surgery Foundation.


The BREAST-Q is owned by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the University of British Columbia. Drs. Pusic, Cano, and Klassen are co-developers of the BREAST-Q and receive a share of licensing revenues based on the inventor sharing policies of these two institutions.


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudia R. Albornoz
    • 1
  • Evan Matros
    • 1
  • Colleen M. McCarthy
    • 1
  • Anne Klassen
    • 2
  • Stefan J. Cano
    • 3
  • Amy K. Alderman
    • 4
  • Nancy VanLaeken
    • 5
  • Peter Lennox
    • 5
  • Sheina A. Macadam
    • 5
  • Joseph J. Disa
    • 1
  • Babak J. Mehrara
    • 1
  • Peter G. Cordeiro
    • 1
  • Andrea L. Pusic
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Health SciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Peninsula College of Medicine and DentistryPlymouthUK
  4. 4.Private PracticeAtlantaUSA
  5. 5.Department of SurgeryUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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