Questions for the First Appointment with the Breast Surgeon


10 Jan
10Jan

Thinking about the upcoming appointment with my breast surgeon - a busy doctor who will want to get the appointment wrapped up in a profitably reimbursable timeframe.  Hopefully my being organized will help make the appointment as efficient as possible.  

The following are my list of questions!

Pre-operative

  • Will I need any tests before surgery?
  • What are the pre-operative instructions?
  • What medications/supplements should I stop taking? 
  • What types of clothes should I bring to wear home?  Will I need a special type of bra (e.g., compression)?

Procedure

  • Are you thinking this is a lumpectomy or mastectomy?
  • What are the criteria for a mastectomy?  Is this a decision you would make in the OR while I am under? 
  • Will you do a sentinel lymph node biopsy? With axillary lymph node dissection?
  • Describe the surgical procedure. How long does it typically take?
  • What are possible complications for this type of surgery?
  • What is the risk of lymphedema with a sentinel lymph node biopsy? With axillary lymph node dissection?
  • What type of anesthesia will I need?
  • Will I need to have a surgical drain?  What does this mean?  How long will the drain be in?
  • Will I have stitches, staples, and/or bandages?
  • Will the tumor be saved?  Where? For how long?
  • Where will the surgery take place? Will I need to be admitted to a hospital or is this out patient?

Post Procedure

  • How long should I expect to wait for the results from the tests on the lymph node, tumor, and margin? Do you call me, or should I call your office?
  • Will I need radiation? 
  • What is the typical recovery process?
  • Will I need someone at home to help me after surgery?
  • What kind of pain will I be in afterwards? 
  • When can I return to work and other daily activities?
  • When will I be able to shower or bath?

Results

  • How soon will we know if the cancer cells are present in the sentinel lymph node?
  • Will a pathologist examine the tissue and write a report?  Will I receive a copy of the report?
  • What if you find cancer cells in the lymph node?
  • What stage is my cancer likely in?
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