Patients Undergoing Bilateral Mastectomy and Breast-Conserving Surgery Have the Lowest Levels of Regret: The WhySurg Study

Amanda Deliere, Deanna Attai, David Victorson, Kristine Kuchta, Catherine Pesce, Katherine Kopkash, Mark Sisco, Akhil Seth, Katharine Yao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: The recent data on decision regret of patients undergoing breast cancer surgery are sparse. Methods: An electronic cross-sectional survey was distributed to Love Research Army volunteers ages 18–70 years who underwent breast cancer surgery from 2009 to 2020. Decision regret scores were compared among patients who underwent bilateral mastectomy (BM), unilateral mastectomy (UM), breast-conserving surgery (BCS), and BCS first (BCS followed by re-excision or mastectomy) and between procedures during different time periods. Multivariable logistic regression, adjusted for patient and tumor factors, was used to determine whether surgery type was associated with a regret score in the highest quartile range. Results: The survey was completed by 2148 women, 1525 (71.0%) of whom reported their surgery choice and answered all questions on the regret scale. The mean age of the participants was 50 years, and the median year of surgery was 2014. The median decision regret score for all the patients was 5 (interquartile range [IQR], 0–20) on a 100-point scale. The regret score of 342 participants (22.4%) was 25 or higher (BCS, 20.2%; BCS first, 31.9%; UM, 30.8%; BM, 15.4%; p < 0.001). In the multivariable analysis, BM was associated with less regret than UM (odds ratio [OR], 0.40 (range, 0.27–0.58); p < 0.001), BCS (OR, 0.56 (range, 0.38–0.83; p = 0.003), or BCS first (OR, 0.32; range, 0.21–0.49; p < 0.001). During the three periods analyzed (2009–2012, 2013–2016, and 2017–2020), the BM and BCS patients had the lowest regret scores of all the surgical types. Conclusions: Decision regret was low among the patients undergoing breast cancer surgery but lowest among the BM patients after adjustment for clinical and tumor factors including complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5686-5697
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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