Here at BRA Foundation we understand it\’s hard to know where to start when thinking of questions to ask your surgeon, so we have prepared a list of questions which you might find useful as a starting point. You will cover lots of ground in your appointments, so we recommend you take someone with you to your appointment, either to take notes for you or to prompt you with anything you may forget.

What to ask your consultant

To support you, we have prepared a list of useful questions which you may like to ask your consultant.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Am I a candidate for immediate breast reconstruction following mastectomy?
  • Which kind of reconstruction is best for me? Why?
  • When can I have my surgery done?
  • How long is this type of surgery?
  • Can you outline the risks of this type of surgery?
  • How long will my hospital stay be?
  • What can I expect 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month after the operation?
  • What is the recovery time for this operation?
  • When will I be able to move about, walk, and drive?
  • When I wake up, what can I expect as to the look and feel of the reconstructed breast?
  • How much discomfort is there likely to be?
  • Is my breast likely to be the same/similar size as my healthy breast?
  • How long does an implant last?
  • Can you show me where the scars will be and how big/long?
  • Can I keep my nipples?
  • What type of nipple reconstruction is there and when will I have it done?
  • Does reconstructive surgery interfere with my other cancer treatments, like chemotherapy and radiotherapy?
  • Will an implant impede the discovery of a new cancer?
  • What do I do if my arm starts swelling (called lymphedema)?
  • When can I exercise again?
  • Will I be still able to do vigorous sports like tennis, rowing, horse riding etc?
  • Will I be shown any physiotherapy/exercise routines to help me after surgery?
  • Can you show me any photographs or images of previous patients that have had breast reconstruction?
  • Can I meet with other patients who have undergone the same operation?
  • Will any future weight gain or loss affect my reconstruction?
  • Do I need to bring into hospital/purchase any special bra/comfortable underwear for after the operation?
  • What happens if I’m not happy with my reconstruction?