(HealthDay News) — Older breast cancer patients who have undergone mastectomy benefit as much as younger women from breast reconstruction, according to a study published online Oct. 26 in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

The study involved 1,531 women in the United States and Canada who had breast reconstruction after mastectomy, including 494 women under age 45, 803 between 45 and 60, and 234 over 60.

The researchers found that older women demonstrated higher sexual well-being for both procedures (implant and autologous), and better satisfaction and physical and psychosocial well-being than younger women with autologous procedures. The investigators also found that age was not a significant predictor of complications.

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“Breast reconstruction has been described as a ‘reverse mastectomy.’ Given the findings from our study, it’s hard to dispute that contention, regardless of age,” principal author Edwin Wilkins, M.D., of the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, said in a journal news release. “Surgeons and patients may have preconceived notions that breast reconstruction is not as good an option in older women as it is in younger patients. According to findings from this study, reconstruction provided the benefits it was expected to provide for quality of life and body image, and age did not significantly affect complications.”

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