Questions to Ask Your Surgeon About Breast Reconstruction

No matter which type of reconstruction you have, consider asking your surgeon these questions as you plan your reconstruction surgery:

  • Am I a good candidate for breast reconstruction?
  • What type of breast reconstruction is best for me?
  • How many reconstruction procedures have you done?
  • Which types of reconstruction are you most experienced in?
  • What are the risks of breast reconstruction?
  • What is the best reconstruction timing for me?
  • How should I prepare for surgery?
  • How long will the surgery take?
  • What kind of anesthesia will I have?
  • What will my breast look like after reconstruction?
  • Do you have photos of similar reconstructions that you’ve performed?
  • What results are realistic for me?
  • Will the reconstructed breast match my remaining breast in size?
  • How will my reconstructed breast feel to the touch?
  • Will I have any feeling in my reconstructed breast?
  • How much discomfort or pain will I feel?
  • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • Will I need blood transfusions? If so, can I donate my own blood?
  • How long is the recovery time?
  • What type of wound care will I need to do at home?
  • Will you insert surgical drains?
  • How much help will I need at home to take care of my drain(s) and wound(s)?
  • Are there exercises I’ll need to do after surgery? If so, when should I start?
  • How much activity can I do at home?
  • What do I do if I get swelling (lymphedema) in my arm?
  • When will I be able to return to normal activities such as driving and working?
  • Can you connect me with other women who have had the same surgery?
  • Will reconstruction interfere with chemotherapy?
  • Will reconstruction interfere with radiation therapy?
  • How long will the implant last? (If you're having an implant)
  • What kinds of changes to the breast can I expect over time?
  • How will aging affect the reconstructed breast?
  • What happens if I gain or lose weight?
  • Are there any new reconstruction options that I should know about?

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