Planning for Reconstruction

Questions to ask your plastic surgeon and/or breast surgeon


You’re likely to have lots of questions for your surgeon and the list below is a good starting point. You can even print these questions and take them to your consultation with you.

About the procedure

  • What are all my options for breast reconstruction?
  • What are the possible risks and complications for each type of breast implant operation and how common are they?
  • How many steps are there in each procedure and what are they?
  • How long will it take to complete my reconstruction?
  • How much pain or discomfort will I feel and for how long?
  • How long will I be in hospital?
  • Will I need blood transfusions and can I donate my own blood?

About the surgeon

  • How much experience do you have with each procedure?
  • Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for each procedure? What results are reasonable for me?
  • Can you recommend any cancer support group?

About the results

  • What if my cancer recurs or occurs in the other breast?
  • Will reconstruction interfere with my cancer treatment?
  • What will my scars look like?
  • What kind of changes in my implanted breast can I expect over time?
  • What kind of changes in my implanted breast can I expect with pregnancy?
  • What are my options if I’m dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my implanted breast?
  • When will I be able to resume my normal activity (sexual activity or athletic activity)?

About the cost

  • For staged reconstruction, what is the estimated total cost of each procedure?
  • How much will my health insurance carrier cover, especially any complication that may require an operation?

About the implants

  • Who is the manufacturer of my breast implant?
  • Where can I find safety and effectiveness information regarding these breast implants?
  • Does the manufacturer have a product warranty?

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