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Questions to Ask Your Breast Cancer Surgeon

Breast cancer surgery is a life-saving procedure but can also have lasting traumatic experiences if you do not completely understand the surgery procedure and what to expect. If you have detailed information about the procedure beforhand, it can help you understand the processes. If you are scheduled for the surgery, make sure you ask your surgeon any questions that you may have on the procedure and the expected outcome.

Here are some questions that you may want to ask your breast cancer surgeon before the procedure:

Will my nipples be affected during the surgery? Can I keep them? Has anyone else preserved their nipple? How did they do it? Have you heard of surgeons who allow their patients to keep their nipples?

What should I expect after breast cancer surgery? Will there be follow-ups, or how will you monitor the tissue left after the procedure? How will I know that I am fully healed? Should I expect to feel anything?

Will I have pain after the operation? How will I manage it? Which options do you have for managing the pain? How long will it take for me to recover fully or to resume normal activities?

What is the best option for breast reconstruction? What should I know about breast implants? How does tissue transfer surgery work, and what are the pros and cons of the procedure? When you consider my case, which option do you think will work best?

How often do your patients experience nipple and skin death? Is that the standard rate for other surgeons?

Although the treatment option is based on your diagnosis and preferences, ask your surgeon what they would do if they were in your shoes.

Asking these questions will help eliminate uncertainties, fear, and worry. It can give you confidence in your surgeon and the care options selected.

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