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Silicone Implants Preferred by Mastectomy Patients: Survey

MONDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer patients who undergo mastectomy seem to prefer silicone breast implants over saline (salt water) implants, researchers have found.

The new study included almost 500 North American women who had breast reconstruction surgery with implants after undergoing double mastectomy (partial or complete removal of both breasts). Silicone implants were used in 176 women and saline implants were used in 306 women.

The survey responses showed that women with silicone implants were more satisfied with their reconstructed breasts than those with saline implants.

The researchers also found that women who received radiation therapy after mastectomy were far less likely to be satisfied with either type of implant.

Among all the women in the study, satisfaction with either silicone or saline implants diminished over time, the investigators noted.

The study, published in the Nov. 8 online edition of the journal Cancer, may help doctors and women who've undergone mastectomy make decisions about reconstructive breast surgery, the study authors suggested.

"We now know that women who elect to proceed with the placement of a silicone implant report higher satisfaction with their reconstructed breasts than those who choose saline implants," study leader Dr. Colleen McCarthy, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, said in a news release from the journal's publisher.

"It also appears that patient satisfaction with postmastectomy implant-based reconstruction is generally high and that individual treatment variables -- such as implant type -- explain only a relatively small amount of the variance. Patient counseling should reflect these realities in order to reassure patients that high satisfaction may be obtained with both saline and silicone implants," McCarthy added.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about breast reconstruction after mastectomy.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Cancer, news release, Nov. 8, 2010

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