Sexuality After Breast Reconstruction Post Mastectomy

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Sabino Neto, Miguel [UNIFESP]
Aguiar Menezes, Marcel Vinicius de [UNIFESP]
Moreira, Joao Ricardo [UNIFESP]
Garcia, Elvio Bueno [UNIFESP]
Felipe Abla, Luiz Eduardo [UNIFESP]
Ferreira, Lydia Masako [UNIFESP]
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Background Sexual dysfunction is a medical condition that can lead to relationship issues as well as depression and has a somatoform basis. It is estimated to affect 49 % of Brazilian women. Studies have shown that both cancer diagnosis and its surgical treatment (mastectomy) affect women psychologically and can lead to psychiatric disorders. the aim of this study was to evaluate and compare sexuality in women who underwent mastectomy alone with those who underwent breast reconstruction after mastectomy.Method This descriptive transversal study analyzed two groups of patients, one with 17 women after mastectomy alone and another with 19 women who underwent breast reconstruction post mastectomy. the patients ranged in age from 18 to 60 years old. the exclusion criteria were illiteracy; ongoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or psychiatric treatment; or if any surgery had been performed the previous year. All patients were from the Gynecology and Plastic Surgery Department of the Federal University of São Paulo. They voluntarily answered the FSFI (Female Sexual Function Index) questionnaire. Statistical analyses were performed using Student's t test and Pearson's coefficient, and the significance level used was p < 0.05.Results Data showed a lower FSFI score for the mastectomy-alone group compared to the breast reconstruction group (median = 10.15 +/- 2.636 and 22.44 +/- 3.055, respectively; p = 0.0057). There was no relationship established between the scores and postoperative time (post, p = 0.9382; pre, p = 0.2142) or between scores and remuneration income (post, p = 0.7699; pre, p = 0.5245), stable relationship (post, p = 0.2613; pre, p = 0.5245), and age (post, p = 0.3951; pre, p = 0.8427) for both groups. Mean age has shown no significant difference (p = 0.4740; median post = 47.71 +/- 2.012; medina pre = 46.69 +/- 1.809).Conclusion An improvement in sexual function has been observed in patients who underwent breast reconstruction after mastectomy, probably as a result of better self-esteem as well as body image, both of which are affected by a mastectomy. the aesthetic results were evaluated using a questionnaire, and all the patients answered positively.Level of Evidence V This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. for a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors
Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. New York: Springer, v. 37, n. 3, p. 643-647, 2013.