Mastectomy and breast reconstruction - what to ask your doctor


Definition

You may be having a mastectomy. This is surgery to remove your breast. Most often, a mastectomy is done to treat breast cancer. Sometimes, it is done to prevent cancer in women who have a high risk of getting breast cancer in the future. You may also have breast reconstruction. This is surgery to create a new breast after mastectomy.

Below are questions you may want to ask your health care provider about mastectomy and breast reconstruction.

Alternative 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; Breast cancer - mastectomy - what to ask your doctor

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?

What kind of bra or other support top should I wear? Where can I buy it?

References

Hunt KK, Mittendorf EA. Diseases of the breast. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 34.


Review Date: 2/11/2017
Reviewed By: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, general surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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