Questions for Your Doctor About Breast Reconstruction
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After a breast cancer diagnosis, it's never too early to discuss breast reconstruction with your doctor or surgeon. Following are some questions you may want to ask as part of this discussion.
- Am I a candidate for breast reconstruction?
- What are my options if I choose to have breast reconstruction?
- Are there any new reconstruction options that I should know about?
- Which type of surgery would give me the best results?
- How much experience do you (plastic surgeon) have with different reconstructive procedures?
- When do you recommend I begin breast reconstruction?
- How long will the surgery take? What kind of anesthesia?
- How many surgeries will I need?
- What risks/possible complications should I know about?
- How much discomfort or pain will I feel?
- Where will the scars be? How large?
- How long will my recovery take?
- When can I return to my normal activities such as driving and working? What activities should I avoid?
- What complications should I report to you?
- What type of care will I need to do at home?
- How often will I follow-up with you?
- Will flap surgery cause any permanent changes where tissue was removed?
- What is the latest information about the safety of breast implants?
- How long will an implant last?
- Can I talk with other women who have had the same surgery I am considering?
- 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 or nipple?
- Will breast reconstruction interfere with chemotherapy?
- Will breast reconstruction interfere with radiation therapy?
- What kinds of changes to the breast can I expect over time?
- How will aging affect my reconstructed breast?
- What happens if I gain or lose weight?
- How much will it cost? Will my health insurance pay for breast reconstruction? Will my insurance pay for revision, or minor changes to achieve symmetry?
- Will my reconstruction be affected by radiation therapy or chemotherapy?
For more information about breast cancer treatment and prevention at Fox Chase Cancer Center or to make an appointment, call 1-888-FOX CHASE (1-888-369-2427). The breast cancer scheduling department can be reached at 215-728-3001.