A preliminary study into women's experiences of undergoing reconstructive surgery after breast cancer
2012 (English)In: European Journal of Oncology Nursing, ISSN 1462-3889, E-ISSN 1532-2122, Vol. 16, no 3, 220-226 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women. In Sweden, about 40% of women diagnosed with breast cancer undergo a mastectomy; breast reconstruction (BR) may be an option for these women. However, the experience of undergoing reconstructive surgery appears to be only very scarcely researched, despite its importance in clinical nursing.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to explore women's experiences of undergoing breast reconstructive surgery after mastectomy due to breast cancer.
Methods: Six women participated in narrative interviews about their experiences of reconstructive surgery, and the interview data were analysed using thematic narrative analysis.
Results: All six women were unprepared for the strenuous experience of undergoing a BR. They described the process as difficult and painful, entailing several operations and an unexpectedly long recovery period. They were also unprepared for how arduous it would be, both physically and emotionally. However, getting a BR had been important to all the women. The BR process was captured in four themes: (1) uninformed care; (2) arduous experiences; (3) body alterations; and (4) moving on.
Conclusions: Obtaining adequate information and being involved in the decision-making process along the pathway of a BR could help the women to prepare physically and emotionally for the strenuous experiences related to reconstructive surgery.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 16, no 3, 220-226 p.
Breast reconstruction, mastectomy, breast cancer, lived body, qualitative research, surgery
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-47723DOI: 10.1016/j.ejon.2011.05.005ISI: 000305377100003PubMedID: 21764374OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-47723DiVA: diva2:444156