Breast Surgery Questions

Art from RMxArt, by Rebecca McCue. Find on Etsey.

Questions for Your Breast Surgeon

  • What are my options for surgery (lumpectomy, mastectomy, etc.)?


  • How do you decide on nipple-sparing vs. skin-sparing? (NOTE: Nipple-sparing vs. skin-sparing: Research now shows that the risk of cancer/recurrence is extremely low if a surgeon does a nipple-sparing mastectomy and effectively removes the tissue below the nipple. That means that most women should be candidates for nipple-sparing mastectomy.


  • Do you work with a specific breast reconstruction surgeon? Who?


  • How long is your portion of surgery?


  • How do you decide how much skin/skin flaps to keep?


  • How much of my tissue will be removed? Will any of the removed tissue be saved?


  • Do you practice nerve preservation? How much, if any, sensation can I expect to retain post-surgery?


  • When will I find out my pathology results?


  • Cancer-specific questions: What tests will be done on the tumor? How will this inform my type of breast surgery? Will you be removing any lymph nodes, and if so, how many?  What is my risk for lymphedema? Will I require radiation? If so, when(pre- or post- mastectomy)?