Facing a breast cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and frightening. Understandably, you may feel that you don’t know where to start on this journey that you didn’t ask to take. The first step is to begin gathering information about your type of breast cancer and what the treatment options are, including surgery. Breast cancer surgery has evolved in some fantastic ways over recent years, so you most likely have more options to consider than you realize.
Here are some important questions to ask your breast cancer surgeon about the surgical procedure in general:
- How much experience do you have with surgeries like mine?
- Will you have to remove lymph nodes? If so, how is this done?
- Will I have stitches or staples? Will there be a drain (tube) coming out of the site?
- How do I care for the surgery site?
- What is the best possible outcome from surgery?
- What is the worst possible outcome from surgery
- How long will surgery take and where will it be done?
- What do I need to do to prepare for surgery?
- Do I need to stop taking medications or supplements before surgery?
- What risks or side effects of surgery do I need to know about?
- Is there anything I can do to reduce these risks or side effects?
- When should I call your office if I’m having side effects?
- Should I get a second opinion? How do I do that?
Here are questions to ask regarding breast conservation and reconstruction:
- Is breast-conserving surgery, or a lumpectomy, an option for me rather than a total mastectomy?
- What are the pros and cons of a lumpectomy versus a mastectomy in my case?
- Is breast reconstruction surgery an option if I want it?
- Is reconstruction done at the same time as the cancer removal surgery?
- Will I need another surgical procedure for reconstruction?
- What are the pros and cons of reconstruction in my case?
- What is hidden scar surgery, and am I a candidate for it?
- How can you make my breasts look as natural as possible?
- What do I need to know about any risks of breast implants?
- Are you able to make my chest flat should I choose that option?
- What will my breasts look and feel like after surgery?
- What will the scar look like?
- Do I need to consult a plastic surgeon about reconstruction options?
It’s important that you take the time to ask all the questions that you need to, and that you ask again if you’re not clear about the answer. Your breast cancer care team is there to help you, which includes making sure you feel fully informed about your surgery and your options regarding reconstruction.
If you’d like to discuss your breast cancer diagnosis and surgical options, I would be happy to consult with you. I am committed to serving breast cancer patients through my solo practice in Breast Surgical Oncology and General Surgery, with offices at Tennova Turkey Creek Medical Center in West Knoxville, at Tennova North Knoxville Medical Center in Powell, at Jefferson Memorial Hospital, and in Morristown.
My extensive research and dedication to continual learning about the latest advances in breast cancer surgery have distinguished me as a leader in the field. To learn more about my compassionate surgical care approach visit www.aaronmd.com or call (865) 692-1610.