Breast Reconstruction Questions

Asking questions of your doctor and your plastic surgeon is a very important part of the process of deciding to have breast reconstructive surgery. If the answers are confusing do not be afraid to ask for clarification. It is also perfectly reasonable to get a second opinion before proceeding.

The following list of questions have been provided by the American Cancer Society. ACS recommends that you bring an audio tape to record your surgeon's answers or bring a friend to help you remember what was said. You should also check our question list for augmentation surgery.

  1. Am I a candidate for breast reconstruction?
  2. When can I have reconstruction done?
  3. What types of reconstruction are possible in my specific case?
  4. What is the average cost of each type? Does insurance cover them?
  5. What type of reconstruction is best for me? Why?
  6. How much experience do you (plastic surgeon) have with this procedure?
  7. What results are realistic for me?
  8. Will the reconstructed breast match my remaining breast in size?
  9. How will my reconstructed breast feel to the touch?
  10. Will I have any feeling in my reconstructed breast?
  11. What possible complications should I know about?
  12. How much discomfort or pain will I feel?
  13. How long will I be in the hospital?
  14. Will I need blood transfusions?
  15. Can I donate my own blood?
  16. How long is the recovery time?
  17. What type of care will I need to do at home?
  18. How much help will I need at home to take care of my drain and wound?
  19. When can I start my exercises?
  20. How much activity should I have at home?
  21. What do I do if I get swelling in my arm (lymph edema)?
  22. When will I be able to return to normal activity such as driving and working?
  23. Can I talk with other women who have had the same surgery?
  24. Will reconstruction interfere with chemotherapy?
  25. Will reconstruction interfere with radiation therapy?
  26. How long will the implant last?
  27. What kinds of changes to the breast can I expect over time?
  28. How will aging affect the reconstructed breast?
  29. What happens if I gain or lose weight?
  30. Are there any new reconstruction options that I should know about?
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Breast Reconstruction Questions