No matter which type of reconstruction you have, consider asking your surgeon (or any surgeons you’re considering) 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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