Remember that plastic surgeons often approach breast reconstruction differently, even with the same procedure. So, you may get different answers to the same questions. Some of the most important questions to ask are:
- Which reconstruction option is best for me and why?
- How many of these procedures do you do in a year?
- Overall, how long will my entire reconstruction be, from start to finish?
- How many surgeries and office visits will be required, over what period of time?
- How long will the surgery(ies) take and how long will I be in the hospital?
- What the potential risks or side effects of these surgeries and procedures?
- How many scars will I have and where will they be? (Generally, reconstruction is performed through the mastectomy incision.)
- What will my recovery be like? How long before I’m able to return to my normal routine?
- What is the best result I can expect?
- What if I’m unhappy with my results?
- May I see your before-and-after patient photos of this procedure?
Asking the right questions and listening to the surgeon's answers are most important during a consultation. You might want to bring a tape recorder or a friend or family member along to help you correctly remember all the information. If you're seeing more than one plastic surgeon for a consultation--it's best to see two or three--consider making up a chart of your questions that you can quickly jot down the answers while in the surgeon's office.