Questions to Ask Your Surgeon About Mastectomy

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Here are some questions to ask your surgeon as you plan mastectomy surgery:

  • How many times have you performed mastectomy?  
  • What are the risks of mastectomy?
  • How should I prepare for surgery?
  • How long will surgery take?
  • Will you remove any underarm lymph nodes (axillary node dissection) along with the breast tissue?
  • What kind of anesthesia will I have?
  • Will I need blood transfusions? Should I donate my own blood before surgery?
  • If I have immediate breast reconstruction, how will my breast look after surgery? What are the risks of having reconstruction surgery? (Learn what other questions to ask your surgeon about reconstruction.)
  • If I choose not to have immediate reconstruction, how will my chest look after surgery?
  • Will I be at risk for lymphedema after surgery?
  • How long will I stay in the hospital?
  • How long will it take to recover?
  • Are there any precautions I should take as I recover? Will you give me written instructions to follow?
  • Are there exercises I need to do after surgery?
  • When can I return to my normal routine and activities?

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