Feeling like me again: a grounded theory of the role of breast reconstruction surgery in self-image

Lindsay N. Mckean, Emily F. Newman, Pauline Adair

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The present study aimed to develop a theoretical understanding of the role of breast reconstruction in women's self-image. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 women from breast cancer support groups who had undergone breast reconstruction surgery. A grounded theory methodology was used to explore their experiences. The study generated a model of 'breast cancer, breast reconstruction and self-image', with a core category entitled 'feeling like me again' and two principal categories of 'normal appearance' and 'normal life'. A further two main categories, 'moving on' and 'image of sick person' were generated. The results indicated a role of breast reconstruction in several aspects of self-image including the restoration of pre-surgery persona, which further promoted adjustment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-502
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number4
Early online date3 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013


  • breast cancer
  • breast reconstruction
  • grounded theory
  • quality of life
  • self-image

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