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Plast Reconstr Surg. 1985 Nov;76(5):713-8.

Psychosocial correlates of immediate versus delayed reconstruction of the breast.


Two groups of consecutive patients from two different plastic surgical practice populations were evaluated to determine psychosocial differences between those who underwent immediate (n = 25) versus delayed (n = 38) breast reconstruction. Psychological assessment consisted of a standardized symptom inventory (BSI) and a specially designed self-report questionnaire investigating reactions unique to mastectomy and reconstruction. Both groups were extremely equivalent with regard to sociodemographic data, with the typical subject being a well-educated and employed Caucasian wife. Verbal reports of physical complaints revealed no significant differences between the two groups except for difficulty with arm movement, which was statistically higher for the immediate group (p = 0.006.). This difference most likely was due to the axillary dissection being performed simultaneously at the time of reconstruction. The relationship between timing of reconstruction and self-reported distress over the mastectomy experience revealed that only 25 percent of the women who underwent immediate repair reported "high distress" in recalling their mastectomy surgery compared with 60 percent of the delayed reconstruction group (p = 0.02). In reference to the two scales measuring psychological symptoms, a general trend was present, with the delayed group scoring higher (although not statistically significantly) on 9 of our 12 scales. Ninety-six percent of the immediate group and 89 percent of the delayed group reported satisfaction with results.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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