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The 5 Most Important Questions To Ask Your Breast Cancer Surgeon
By Heather Richardson, MD, FACS
At Bedford Breast Center in Beverly Hills, CA, we strive to provide our patients with the best care to ensure optimal breast health. We are passionate about screening, early detection, and curing breast cancer disease. Our team of breast specialists, Dr. Heather Richardson and Dr. Leslie Memsic strive to provide patients with a caring environment where patients are educated on the best options for their diagnosis.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 5 questions for your breast cancer surgeon below:
- Pain control: What is my post-op pain control plan? Do you use long-acting Marcaine (Exparel®) Or a pain pump (On-Q*)? Or a regional block? How long does it take for most of your patients to feel well enough to go back to work?
- Nipple-sparing options: Can I keep my nipple? If not, why? Have you ever heard of other surgeons allowing a patient like me to keep their nipple? (For more information about nipple-sparing mastectomy, see our related blog post.)
- Reconstruction: What are the good and bad things to know about implants? And about tissue transfer surgery? Which do you think is the best choice for me?
- Post-surgical monitoring: What is the plan for monitoring the tissue left behind after the surgery? What should I expect to feel after healing is complete?
- Complications: What is your rate of nipple death and skin death for your patients? What are the typical rates for most doctors/this area?
And one not-so-helpful question…
Q. “What would you do if you were me?”
Why is this not a great question? What feels right to one person, may seem too risky for another. Plus, it really doesn’t matter what they or anyone else thinks about themselves, what matters is how you feel about your course of treatment.
Presenting these questions to your breast cancer surgeon can help eliminate uncertainties, understand your post-op care, and ease worrying and fear.
Bedford Breast Center’s philosophy is to provide our patients with the best care and treatment plan options available in Beverly Hills, CA. Our best-in-class doctors perform nipple-sparing mastectomies, offer same-day appointments, and provide a thorough evaluation of risks to prevent future disease. If you are looking for experienced, knowledgeable breast cancer surgeons, please contact us online or call us at (310) 278-8590.