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how to keep track of your medical history

Should you keep track of your medical records? 

If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, chances are you’ve probably seen members of your medical team writing a lot of notes in your chart. These notes are a very important part of your medical history and help each doctor keep track of your particular case in detail.

With the numerous appointments you will need throughout your cancer treatment, it is important for you as the patient to keep track of your medical history as well. Writing your own notes, bringing along a friend or family member, or even taking a tape recorder to each appointment will help you remember what was said by each doctor. It will also help you play a more active and informed role in your cancer care.

As you progress through cancer treatment, be sure to ask your physicians for copies of your records, lab reports and other test results. Having copies of your medical history will make it easy for you when you are visiting new physicians.

If you decide to have breast reconstruction at the same time as your mastectomy or even at a later date, these records will also be needed by your plastic surgeon.

Always ask your physicians any questions you have in regards to your medical records and be sure to keep confidential medical history in a safe place.

 

Author: Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo and Brandy (Korman) Haslam

If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, chances are you’ve probably seen members of your medical team writing a lot of notes in your chart. These notes are a very important part of your medical history and help each doctor keep track of your particular case in detail.

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4 Comment

  1. Debby

    I had a left breast mastectomy in 2001, and have been interested in diep flap reconstruction surgery. Can this surgery be completed after having lymph nodes under the arm removed? My arm is partially numb and I still get cramping at times under my arm and incision site. I’m scared that this may become worse with more surgery, but I’m so interested in having it done. Thank you, Debby

    1. PRMA Plastic Surgery

      Hi Debbie, yes you can have the DIEP flap after having lymph nodes under the arm removed. Lymphedema can actually be improved with the DIEP flap as lymph nodes can be transferred from the abdomen to the limb that is affected by lymphedema. You can read more about this process here: https://prma-enhance.com/lymphedema-surgery/vascularized-lymph-node-transfer/ Feel free to call me at 800.692.5565 or email patientadvocate@prmaplasticsurgery.com to discuss this further. We are also in-network with most insurance companies and routinely see patients from across the country. -Brandy

  2. Peg

    very interesting as my nodes were removed also, I have some swelling of my arm and is most notable in my hand. I was just contacted today and was approved for surgery with PRMA and will for sure bring this up at my consultation, thanks for asking such a great question cause I thought that I would just have to live with this very annoying side effect!
    what a great question to ask, one I never would have thought of… I have lymphedema also did not know that there was a solution, thought I would have to live with this side effect of the mastectomy …but I have been approved for reconstructive surgery with PRMA and will be sure to ask about it when I go for my consultation. Thanks Debbie!!

  3. Alina

    You made some really good points there. I checked on the net for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.