Impact of Obesity on Quality of Life After Breast Reconstruction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: There is an increasing prevalence of obesity in society, often associated with increased medical comorbidities and surgical complications. Some health providers are now placing a body mass index (BMI) limit on whom can be offered breast reconstruction. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of obesity on quality of life as measured by the BREAST-Q, in women undergoing breast reconstruction. METHODS: A review of the breast reconstruction database (n = 336) at the Flinders Breast Reconstruction Service was performed, with demographic data, complication rates, and BREAST-Q data being extracted and analyzed. Participants were divided into 2 groups: nonobese (BMI <30 kg/m) and obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m) for comparison. RESULTS: Preoperatively, obese women scored lower than nonobese women in terms of BREAST-Q scores. Mean prereconstruction scores were 51.62 versus 57.10 (psychosocial), 40.18 versus 48.14 (satisfaction with breasts), and 34.30 versus 40.72 (sexual well-being) (all P < 0.05), and 68.48 versus 72.15 (physical well-being) (P = 0.08). At 12 months post-mound reconstruction, there was a significant improvement in scores in both groups. Additionally, there were no significant differences for BREAST-Q scores between the 2 groups 12 months after surgery. While there was a significantly higher minor complication rate in the obese group compared with the nonobese group, there was no significant difference in the rate of major complications (eg, requiring revision surgery) between the 2 groups. CONCLUSIONS: Obese participants gain a similar, if not better, improvement in quality of life after breast reconstruction, despite a higher rate of minor complications. This study did not support withholding breast reconstruction from obese women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-628
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Plastic Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • obesity
  • body mass index (BMI)
  • breast reconstruction
  • BREAST-Q score


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of Obesity on Quality of Life After Breast Reconstruction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this