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Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction Improves Mood, Sexuality

Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction Improves Mood, SexualityA new study by the American Cancer Society concludes that breast reconstruction after a mastectomy helps a woman experience significant gains in psychological, social, and sexual well-being.

Amazingly, the results can begin as soon as three weeks after surgery.

The study, published early online in the journal Cancer, provides new information to breast cancer survivors who are contemplating these types of breast reconstruction procedures.

While the purpose of the procedure is to restore the appearance of the breast and to improve women’s psychological health after cancer treatment, findings have been mixed on the procedure’s benefits.

To provide a clearer picture of women’s mental and physical health following two advanced forms of breast reconstruction, Toni Zhong, M.D., M.H.S., in collaboration with her colleagues, surveyed 51 women undergoing free MS-TRAM or DIEP flap reconstruction between June 2009 and November 2010.

During these procedures, which are gaining popularity in North America and Europe, surgeons take tissue from the patient’s abdomen and use it to reconstruct the breast. The women in the study completed questionnaires prior to surgery and following surgery at three weeks and three months.

Women who underwent the breast reconstruction procedures reported significant improvements in psychological, social, and sexual well-being just three weeks after surgery.

However, they continued to experienced decreased physical well-being at the abdominal location where tissue was removed at three months following surgery.

The results may be helpful to breast cancer survivors who are considering breast reconstruction.

“In the current health care environment where patients and providers increasingly seek evidence-based data to guide clinical decisions, discussing satisfaction outcomes with patients will help them make educated decisions about breast reconstruction,” said Zhong.

“Our study can serve as an important source of evidence to guide the decision-making process for both surgeons and patients,” she said.

Source: Wiley-Blackwell

Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction Improves Mood, Sexuality

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction Improves Mood, Sexuality. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 19, 2018, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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