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!
- 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)?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?