Once you decide to undergo a mastectomy because of breast cancer, the next question that comes to mind is how to find a plastic surgeon for breast reconstruction. There are some factors to consider when choosing a plastic surgeon. Breast reconstruction is a delicate procedure, both physically and emotionally. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Make sure you have a board-certified plastic surgeon!
When choosing a plastic surgeon for your breast reconstruction, the most important thing to consider is a certified doctor by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The ASPS has a plastic surgery information service that provides a list of all ASPS members . This certification guarantees the surgeon you choose is experienced and knowledgeable. In other words, it means you’re in good hands.
Get a second opinion.
While it’s tempting to go with the first plastic surgeon you meet, often a second opinion can help you understand the range of options available to you. Ask your breast surgeon to give you a list of plastic surgeons to speak with, and find out who makes you feel the most comfortable.
Ask the right questions.
Like all medical fields, plastic surgery has its language that only doctors and surgeons fully know. To understand the surgical options available to you, as well as the procedure you choose, you’ll need to ask the right questions. We suggest asking your plastic surgeon these questions and making sure you understand the answers fully before moving forward with reconstruction:
- How many times have they done reconstruction surgery?
- What are the pros and cons of having breast reconstruction during my mastectomy versus afterward?
- Will reconstruction interfere with my breast cancer treatment?
- What types of reconstruction would work for my body?
- Will my insurance cover the cost (remember, if it doesn’t, the AiRS Foundation can help!)
- How long will it take me to recover?
- What will my reconstructed breast look and feel like?
- Will the reconstructed breast match my other breast?
- Will I have any feeling in my reconstructed breast?
- What possible complications can I expect?
- Can you show me before and after pictures?
- Can I talk with other women who have had the same surgery?
For more questions to ask your plastic surgeon, the American Cancer Society lists additional questions here.
Help Us Help Women!
Breast reconstruction is often an essential component for women to feel whole again after a mastectomy due to breast cancer. At the AiRS Foundation, we help women who cannot afford reconstruction after surgery. Consider helping us by donating or volunteering! We are ALWAYS in need of support!