Which type of reconstruction (implants vs. autologous) which you recommend for me and my body type? Why?
Do you use 3-D programs or any other tool (like consultation kits with temporary implants) to understand what I will look like post-surgery?
How do we decide what size I’ll be?
How do cc’s correspond with typical size?
If Autologous Tissue:
What is the best reconstruction timing for me? Am I a candidate for DTI or expanders?
How long is the surgery?
Who will be in the room for the surgery? Will anyone else besides the main surgeon be a hands-on part of the operation?
Will you use alloderm? Why or why not?
What type of anesthesia will I get?
Will I get a nerve block?
How long do I stay in the hospital?
Will I be in the ICU?
What can I expect from the moment I arrive at the hospital to the moment I leave the hospital (e.g. time in waiting room and recovery room, bringing family, updating family on results)
When can I shower?
When do I get my bandages off?
How often will I come see you after surgery?
When can I put my arms over my head?
What are my physical activity restrictions?
What are my day-to-day restrictions? When can I start:
How long will I be out of work?
How long will I need help from friends/family?
What types of supplies will I need when I get home?
What kinds of bras will I need to wear and for how long?
When should I start PT? Do you have a list of PTs you recommend?
How long will I be in pain, and how will it change with time?
Where can I expect the most pain?
What kind of medication will I be on, and for how long?
How long will I have drains in?
How can I minimize pain/annoyance from drains?
How do I take care of my drains?
What kind of wound cleaning will I need to do after the drains are removed?
How many drains will I have?
Where on the body (sides, armpits, etc.) will the drains be located?
How do you protect against nipple necrosis?
What kind of post-op bleeding is normal vs. what should concern me?
What will happen in the event that a hematoma develops?
How do you minimize risk of infection?
How do you minimize risk of losing an implant?
How do you minimize risk of a flap failing?
How should I prepare for surgery?
Physically are there specific areas I should focus on strengthening?
Do you have a psycho-oncologist that you refer patients to?
What foods/vitamins/supplements should I be taking pre-surgery?
What foods/vitamins/supplements should I stop taking pre-surgery, and how long pre-surgery?
Are there any specification preparation rituals I need to undergo (such as sanitation washes, drinking gatorade for hydration, etc.)?
How will future weight gain/loss impact my reconstruction?
How does breast tissue removal impact my hormones?
What can I expect regarding weight fluctuations, acne, or hair changes?
Are there any effects on my balance?
How will this affect muscles in my chest and back?
Are there any activities that I won’t be allowed to do after this surgery?
When can I wear a “normal” bra? (NOTE: Nordstrom offers bra fitting for women who have had breast surgery, and insurance often covers bras post-breast surgery!
WIll I need future mammograms, ultrasounds, MRIs?
How many breast surgeries have you performed? How many of this particular type of reconstruction have you performed?
What type of reconstruction are you most experienced in?
What is your success rate?
How many patients have had complications and why? How have you treated?
If something goes wrong, how do I contact you?
Can I see photos of previous surgeries of this type that you’ve completed?
Can I speak to any of your previous patients about their experience?
(If breast surgeon and reconstructive surgeon are separate people): How many times have you performed this surgery in partnership with my other surgeon? What is the nature of your relationship?
How often do you find yourself doing revision surgeries on patients who you reconstructed? Is a revision surgery built automatically built into the timeline (ex. for DIEP)?
Revision surgery (including fat grafting):
Is this outpatient?
How long is recovery, and what are my restrictions?
How long after my reconstruction can I have my revision surgery?
What will you be fixing?
What can I expect my results to look like?
Will I need drains again?
How long will I be in a compression bra?