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J Plast Surg Hand Surg. 2019 Apr;53(2):119-124. doi: 10.1080/2000656X.2018.1562459. Epub 2019 Jan 18.

Quality of life, patient satisfaction and cosmetic outcome after delayed breast reconstruction using DIEP flap: a 10 years' follow-up survey.

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a Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery , Oslo University Hospital , Oslo , Norway.
b Department of Plastic surgery , Bærum Hospital , Bærum , Norway.
c Centre of Biostatistics and Epidemiology , Oslo University Hospital , Oslo , Norway.
d Institute for Surgical Research, Oslo University Hospital , Oslo , Norway.
e Faculty of medicine , University of Oslo , Oslo , Norway.


Autologous breast reconstruction (BR) aims to restore body image and improve health-related quality of life in women undergoing mastectomy due to breast cancer. We wanted to explore patient-reported cosmetic results and satisfaction 10 or more years post BR surgery, using deep inferior epigastric perforator flap (DIEP). This is a follow-up study based on the same patient population of 34 patients undergoing delayed DIEP-flap procedure during 2001-2004 at Oslo University Hospital investigated by our group and published in 2008; Four patients died during the 10 years' follow-up time and four patients with total or partial flap failure were excluded. The average age for reconstruction was 51.4 years (SD 5.8). The participants answered study-specific questions based on the first study, evaluated cosmetic results using the visual analog scale (VAS) and BREAST-Q post-mastectomy reconstruction module. The response rate was 85% (22/26). A significantly reduced number of patients reported satisfaction with the appearance of breasts (p = .035). The consistency of the reconstructed breast was significantly better evaluated with VAS score (p = .039). The patients reported overall satisfactory results based on Q-scores using the BREAST-Q post-mastectomy reconstruction module. Patients reported a generally high level of satisfaction with BR and cosmetic results 10 or more years after delayed DIEP-flap procedure. Although a significantly decreased number of patients reported satisfaction with the appearance of the breast, almost all patients would have chosen BR again, and the consistency of the reconstructed breast was evaluated as improved.


DIEP; Delayed breast reconstruction; cosmetic result; patient-reported outcome

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