Immediate breast reconstruction versus non-reconstruction after mastectomy: a study on quality of life, pain and functionality

ABSTRACT With the evolution of oncoplastic techniques that enable breast reconstruction at the same time of mastectomy without compromising oncologic safety, it becomes pertinent to investigate the implications of immediate reconstruction with expanders or silicone prostheses for the pain, the functionality of the homolateral upper limb and the quality of life (QoL) of these women. The aim of this study was to compare the pain, the functionality and the QoL of women subjected to modified radical mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction and without reconstruction. This is a cross-sectional, comparative and descriptive study with a quantitative approach, which evaluated 22 volunteers who had undergone modified radical mastectomy, divided evenly into two groups, according to whether they were subjected to immediate breast reconstruction (RI) or not (SR). The volunteers answered the sociodemographic, clinical and oncological questionnaire, VAS to measure pain, DASH to assess the functionality of the upper limb, and QoL was assessed through the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire, with its specific module for breast CA. There was a high prevalence of pain, moderate functional limitation and satisfactory QoL, with no statistical difference between groups. However, no significant differences were found between groups for pain (p=0.586), functionality (p=0.399) and QoL (p>0.05). For the evaluated sample, reconstructing the breasts or not with expanders or silicone prostheses during mastectomy did not produce effects over pain, functionality and QoL.