[Current trends of breast reconstruction after mastectomy for breast cancer patients in China: a survey report]

Ying Chen, Jiajian Chen, Jiaying Chen, Benlong Yang, Lin Li, Xiaoyan Huang, Zhimin Shao, Zhenzhou Shen, Peirong Yu, Jiong Wu
Zhonghua Zhong Liu za Zhi [Chinese Journal of Oncology] 2014, 36 (11): 851-7

OBJECTIVE: To explore the current trends of breast reconstruction (BR) for breast cancer patients in China.

METHODS: A questionnaire was designed for this study, and it included questions on surgeon demographics, number of mastectomy and BR, type and timing of BR, reconstructive choices in the setting of preoperative or postoperative radiotherapy or chemotherapy, etc. All data were collected until December 2012. Questionnaires were sent to 52 members of the Committee of Breast Cancer Society by e-mail or mail.

RESULTS: By July 2013, 41 questionnaires had been returned. Among all, 5 were excluded for not performing BR. These 36 hospitals covered 22 provinces and municipalities in China. A total of 538 surgeons working in the general surgery or oncological surgery department, but only 123 (22.9%) were qualified to perform BR. In 2012, except for 4 missing data, 24, 763 mastectomies were performed in 32 hospitals; among them, 1120 (4.5%) received BR. According to these 36 respondents, 32 (88.9%) performed prosthetic (1, 843 cases in all) while 4 (11.1%) performed prosthetic BR with acellular dermal matrix (17 cases in all) from the time of their first BR operation to the end of 2012. During the same period, 965 latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flaps with implant were performed in 23 (63.9%) hospitals while 738 latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flaps without implant were performed in 32 (88.9%) hospitals. At the same time, 366 pedicled transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap BRs were performed in 28 (77.8%) hospitals, while 155 abdominal free flap BRs were carried out in 9 (25.0%) hospitals. The overall complication rate was 18.2%. Postoperative radiotherapy had some effect on influencing the esthetic outcomes of BR, so the autologous BR was recommended, but the timing remained controversial. Regarding chemotherapy, most respondents concluded that it had no effect or only a mild effect. The overall cosmetic outcomes of the reconstructed breasts satisfied the majority of physicians and patients.

CONCLUSIONS: With more attention paid to the quality of life after mastectomy, more and more BRs are needed, but the ratio is still low in China. To improve this situation, more efforts are needed, including the improvement of the intrahospital framework of multi-disciplinary service, the training for doctors and the educational program for patients, etc.

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