What to Ask Your Breast Reconstruction Surgeon
Knowing what to ask a breast reconstruction surgeon can help you decide if he or she is the right one to perform your procedure. It can also help you decide what type of reconstruction is best for you, and to understand what to expect before, during, and after your treatment. A surgeon who is willing to patiently answer all your questions and makes you feel comfortable is essential. If you are wondering what to ask your breast reconstruction surgeon, Dr. Oren Lerman in Manhattan, New York, has provided a comprehensive list of suggestions.
Just because a surgeon does not recommend a procedure that interests you, it does not mean that you are not a candidate.
A surgeon’s experience and credentials play an important role in explaining what he or she can help you achieve. Some patients may feel hesitant to ask about qualifications face to face, but an experienced surgeon will expect these questions. After all, breast reconstruction requires special training and experience, and patients need to know they can rely on their surgeon.
Recommended questions include:
- Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
- How many procedures have you performed?
- How many were successful?
- If any were unsuccessful, why?
- How often do you perform breast reconstruction?
- Which types of reconstruction do you have the most experience performing?
- How often will revisions be necessary for each type of procedure?
You should also keep in mind that just because a surgeon does not recommend a procedure that interests you, it does not mean that you are not a candidate. In some cases, it may just mean that the surgeon does not offer that procedure.
You can gauge your comfort with the surgeon's recommendation by asking:
- What makes me a good candidate?
- What are the risks of this surgery?
- Will reconstruction interfere with chemotherapy or radiation therapy?
Surgery and Recovery
You should know exactly what to expect at every stage of treatment, and you can gain an understanding of your treatment timeline by asking:
- How should I prepare?
- How long does surgery typically take?
- How should my treatment be timed? Is it better to undergo immediate reconstruction, or should I delay reconstruction?
- How long does it usually take to recover? What will my recovery be like?
- How much help will I need at home?
- What kinds of exercises will I need to do after surgery?
- When can I return to work?
- When can I resume vigorous or strenuous exercise?
You are entitled to the clearest possible understanding of the results you can expect. Ask your surgeon:
- What will my breast look like after surgery?
- When will the final results be visible?
- What can I expect in terms of scarring?
- Do you have photos of results you have provided for patients undergoing this procedure?
- Will the reconstructed breast match my remaining breast?
- How will the reconstructed breast feel to the touch?
- What kinds of changes in my reconstructed breasts should I expect over time?
- If I receive an implant, how long will it last?
- Can you connect me with others who have had the same surgery?
Reach Out Today
Patients often have more power over the outcome of breast reconstruction than they realize. Choosing the right surgeon is one of the best ways to ensure that you achieve results with which you feel satisfied. To learn more about Dr. Lerman, or the criteria you should look for in a breast reconstruction surgeon, please contact us today.