Mastectomy and breast reconstruction - what to ask your doctor

Definition

You may be having a mastectomy, surgery to remove your breast. Most often, a mastectomy is done to treat breast cancer. You may also have breast reconstruction, surgery to create a new breast after mastectomy.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse about mastectomy and breast reconstruction.

Alternate Names

Mastectomy - what to ask your doctor; Breast reconstruction - what to ask your doctor; TRAM flap - what to ask your doctor; Latissimus dorsi flap - what to ask your doctor; What to ask your doctor about mastectomy and breast reconstruction

Questions

What is the best treatment for my type of breast cancer?

What are the different types of mastectomy?

What are the risks of the type of mastectomy I will have?

Can I have surgery to create a new breast after my mastectomy (breast reconstruction)?

How can I get my home ready before I even go to the hospital?

How can I prepare myself emotionally for the surgery? What types of feelings can I expect to have? Can I talk with people who have had a mastectomy?

What medicines should I take the day of the surgery? Are there any medicines I should not take on the day of the surgery?

What will the surgery, and my stay in the hospital, be like?

What will it be like when I go home?


Review Date: 5/11/2012
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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