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If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer and are considering breast reconstruction, it’s important to find out as much as you can about what to expect. Your breast surgeon can help you find a plastic surgeon who should be able to explain all of your choices and answer your questions. Here are some questions to ask to help get you started. Be sure you get all of your questions answered, so that you can make the best decisions for you about breast reconstruction.
If you decide to have breast reconstruction, it is best to find an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon. Your breast surgeon can suggest doctors for you. To find a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area, or to find out if your surgeon is board certified, contact the American Board of Plastic Surgeons.
You might want to get a second opinion before having surgery, so you know all of your options before reconstruction surgery, or even mastectomy. It’s important for you to make the right decisions based on complete information.
It’s very important to get all of your questions answered by your plastic surgeon before having breast reconstruction. If you don’t understand something, ask your surgeon about it. You might want to take notes or bring a partner or friend with you to the doctor's appointment to help remember what was said and to help ask other questions.
Here are some questions to get you started. Write down other questions as you think of them. The answers to these questions may help you make your decisions.
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Breast Reconstruction. Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures/breast-reconstruction on August 6, 2021.
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De La Cruz L, Blankenship SA, Chatterjee A, et al. Outcomes after oncoplastic breast-conserving surgery in breast cancer patients: A systematic literature review. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2016; 23(10):3247-3258.
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National Cancer Institute. Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy. 2017. Accessed at https://www.cancer.gov/types/breast/reconstruction-fact-sheet on August 6, 2021.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Breast Cancer. Version 5.2021. Accessed at https://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/breast.pdf on August 6, 2021.
US Food and Drug Administration. Breast Implant Surgery. Updated March 31, 2021. Accessed at https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/breast-implants/breast-implant-surgery on August 6, 2021.
US Food and Drug Administration. Things to Consider Before Getting Breast Implants. Updated September 28, 2019. Accessed at https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/breast-implants/things-consider-getting-breast-implants on August 6, 2021.
Last Revised: October 20, 2021
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