Tips for a Successful Breast Reconstruction Consultation
How can you best prepare for your breast reconstruction consultation?
After selecting a breast reconstruction surgeon who is right for you, it is time to prepare for your consultation!
Here are a few pointers to ensure your breast reconstruction consultation is a success!
Before Your Appointment:
Research your options
Before arriving at your appointment, take some time to research all your options. Breast reconstruction can be performed using implants or your own natural tissue (autologous reconstruction). There are pros and cons to each option that you should discuss with your surgeon. By researching all your options before your consultation, you can ensure you (through shared decision making with your surgeon) will choose the procedure that is best for you.
To help you research all your options, we recommend you download the Breast Advocate® App prior to your initial consultation. Created by our very own Dr Chrysopoulo, Breast Advocate® is the World’s first shared decision-making app for breast cancer surgery and breast reconstruction, and will be a very useful tool for you to review information before and after your consultation.
Write down your questions
As you take time to research your options, write down any questions you have. By writing your questions down in advanced, you will be sure not to forget anything during the appointment. The questions don’t have to only be about the procedures either. If you have questions about your surgeon’s experience or outcomes, now is the time to ask. Here is a great list of questions to ask!
During Your Appointment:
Be honest about your needs and expectations
This is the golden rule! It is so important to be open and honest with your surgeon about your needs and expectations with breast reconstruction. Discuss everything from breast size, scar placement, breast sensation and realistic outcomes. Nothing is off the table here!
Remember that list of questions you put together before your appointment? Now is the time to ask! Don’t hold back either! There can never be too many questions! This is what your consultation is for!
Ask to speak with previous patients
Your surgeon and nurse will be able to answer majority of your questions, but it is always great to hear from someone who has personally had the surgery. Ask your surgeon if it is possible to speak with a few previous patients who have had the same surgery you choose. At PRMA, we have an amazing group of dedicated patients who are always willing to speak with patients who have questions!
View before and after photos
Before and after photos are a terrific visual way to understand realistic surgery outcomes. Take a moment to view these photos at your appointment.
After Your Appointment
Have new questions? Ask!
You are likely to have a few more questions come to mind after your consultation. That’s perfect! Give your surgeon or nurse a call any time you have a question!
Decide on a surgery date
Once there is a surgical plan in place, work with the scheduling department to select a surgery date that works for you (and the surgeon of course). It is important to discuss your surgery date with any family or caretakers that may be helping you after surgery to make sure there are no scheduling conflicts.
Discuss insurance coverage with billing department
The last thing anyone wants to worry about before breast reconstruction surgery is insurance. Our billing and scheduling department will keep you up to date on all insurance authorizations and cost estimates before surgery.
Still unsure? Come back!
That’s right! If you are still unsure about how to proceed with breast reconstruction, schedule a second consultation. It is important to be comfortable and confident in your decision for surgery. You should never feel pressured or rushed! Take your time to make the best decision for you!
Author: Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo and Courtney Floyd
After selecting a breast reconstruction surgeon who is right for you, it is time to prepare for your consultation! Here are a few pointers to ensure your breast reconstruction consultation is a success!