Reconstructive Department: MROC Study: Mastectomy Reconstruction Outcomes Consortium
Susan Lamp BSN, RN, CPSN

Plastic Surgical Nursing
June 2012 
Volume 32  Number 2
Pages 69 - 70
  PDF Version Available!

The American Cancer Society estimates that 211,240 women in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. Many of these women will receive mastectomy as their primary treatment. For those women undergoing mastectomy, the impact on body image, psychological well-being, and quality of life can be devastating. Breast reconstruction following mastectomy can significantly lessen these adverse effects.Over the last decade, practice patterns in breast reconstruction have undergone significant evolution. A new generation of microsurgical free tissue transfers, called perforator flaps, has been used for mastectomy reconstruction. While many of these microvascular techniques may offer significant benefits, the technical complexity of perforator flaps has limited their use to a minority of centers. Most plastic surgeons continue to rely on conventional TRAM (transverse rectus abdominus musculocutaneous) flaps and expander/implant techniques as their preferred options for breast reconstruction. Few published outcome studies have provided generalized data to support evidence-based decision making for these procedures.On February 1, 2012, a new 5-year prospective study was launched to compare long-term outcomes for seven commonly used options for breast reconstruction following mastectomy. The abstract states that well-designed studies comparing the current choices from the patient's point of view are difficult to come by. Although the project will use a variety of assessments, it will rely primarily on patient-reported outcome measures in comparing reconstructive options. Previous research has also failed to include race as an important variable. In addition, costs of breast reconstruction procedures will be assessed. While the newer surgical options offer the promise of better outcomes, these techniques require greater technical skill and (perhaps) more resources, compared with traditional expander/implant and pedicle TRAM options.As recognized leaders in the field

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