Serial Comparison of Patient-Reported Outcomes of Immediate Breast Reconstruction: Direct-to-Implant Versus Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap

Mi Kyung Lee, Ji Won Hwang, Jin Woo Park, Kyong Je Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Direct-to-implant (DTI) and deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flaps are the two most common methods of immediate breast reconstruction. This study aimed to compare patient-reported outcomes between the two methods and to evaluate whether outcomes change over time. Methods: The data of patients who underwent immediate breast reconstruction using DTI or DIEP flaps between July 2017 and October 2021 were retrospectively reviewed. Patients who completed the BREAST-Q Reconstruction Module at 6 months and > 12 months after reconstruction were analyzed. Mann–Whitney and Wilcoxon signed-rank test were used to compare outcome between DTI and DIEP groups, and serial comparisons were performed. Results: Of 375 patients included in the analysis, 146 patients completed questionnaires > 1 year of follow-up (20.79 ± 8.55 months). The DTI and DIEP groups had 102 (69.9%) and 44 (30.1%) patients, respectively. There were no intergroup differences in the mean scores representing any of the domains at 6 postoperative months. After > 1 year of follow-up, patients who underwent DIEP-flap reconstruction had greater satisfaction with their breast reconstructions (p < 0.001) and greater satisfaction with their overall outcomes (p < 0.001). In the DTI group, satisfaction scores did not change over time in any of the domains. In the DIEP group, however, the mean scores reflecting satisfaction with the breast (p = 0.001), overall outcome (p = 0.045), psychosocial well-being (p = 0.015), and sexual well-being (p = 0.042) significantly increased over long-term follow-up relative to the scores at 6 postoperative months. Conclusions: Patient-reported outcomes improved over time in association with DIEP reconstructions, reflecting higher satisfaction levels than those associated with DTI reconstruction. Level of Evidence IV: 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 .

Original languageEnglish
JournalAesthetic Plastic Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.


  • Breast reconstruction
  • DIEP
  • Direct-to-implant
  • Patient-reported outcomes


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