1. What are my reconstruction options? What type do you suggest for me and why?
2. When should I have reconstruction – now or later? Why?
3. What are the short and long-term effects of the different types of reconstruction? Are there any risks or side effects I need to be aware of?
4. How many surgeries will I need?
5. How long is each surgery? How long will I be in the hospital?
6. What is the recovery process?
7. How will my reconstructed breast look and feel? How will it compare with my other breast? Will I need surgery on the other breast?
8. Are you a board-certified plastic surgeon?
9. May I see pictures of reconstructive surgeries that you have done?
10. If breast cancer comes back, how will I know? What should I look for?
11. After reconstruction, what breast cancer screening do you recommend for me and why?
12. If I choose not to have reconstruction, what are my options? Can I use a breast prosthesis? Where can I buy them? Will insurance pay for them?
13. Are you board-certified? Is breast reconstruction your specialty?
14. How many breast reconstruction surgeries do you perform in a year?
15. What should I consider before deciding to have breast reconstruction?
16. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type?
17. Will I need to coordinate this with my breast surgeon?
18. If I have radiation therapy, does that change my options for reconstruction?
19. What are tissue expanders, and will I need them?
20. Which type of implants do you recommend (saline or silicone), and why? What size?
21. If you use tissue from another part of my body to rebuild my breast(s), where do you recommend it be taken from, and why?
22. If I have a mastectomy with implant reconstruction, can I also have a nipple reconstruction? If so, when?
23. What are the costs involved with breast reconstruction? What is covered by my insurance? Is surgery on the non-reconstructed breast covered by insurance?
24. What do I need to do to prepare for the surgery?
25. What type of anesthesia will I need for this operation?
26. What can I expect after the operation?
27. What are the possible complications for this type of surgery?
28. When can I resume my normal activities, including exercise?
29. Will I need to have surgical drains? What does this mean?
30. Will I have stitches, staples, and/or bandages?
31. Will there be a scar or other permanent effects from the surgery?
32. Are there instructions or post-operative care pamphlets I can take home with me?
33. When will I need to return for a follow-up appointment?
34. What type of results can I expect?
35. What type of sensation (feeling) will the reconstructed breast have?
36. What changes to the reconstructed breast can I expect over time?
37. Will I need to have surgery again in the future (for example, to replace implants over time)?
38. Do I need mammograms or MRI tests after a breast reconstruction?
39. What can I expect if my weight changes?
40. What if I become pregnant in the future?