As you face the prospect of mastectomy and possibly reconstruction, it’s important that you feel you’re in good hands.
We suggest that patients look for these four characteristics in their ideal plastic surgeon: skill, compassion, rapport, and honesty.
When interviewing surgeons (something you should definitely do!) for microsurgical breast reconstruction, ask the following questions:
Question #1: Are you a microsurgeon? Where and by whom were you trained in this specialty?
You will want to know exactly what the doctor’s specialty is and where his training took place.
Question #2: How many microsurgeries have you performed? And how often do you perform them?
You want to know that your surgeon is very familiar and well versed with your particular surgery.
Question #3: What is your success rate?
Not only is this an important question to ask in regard to the surgeon’s skill level, but it’s also important to ask about the overall success rate of the surgery you’re looking into, by any surgeon.
Question #4: Can you arrange for me to speak with some of your patients who have had the procedure I am seeking?
This is a great way to communicate with others who can give you advice on what to expect, post op recovery, and information on their experience with the doctor. It’s important to note that candidates should speak with people of similar ages and lifestyles.
Question #5: How long do you anticipate I will be under anesthesia for the procedure?
It’s important for the surgeon to walk you through what to expect the day of the procedure—this way there will be no surprises, and you can also let your caregiver know the time commitment.
Question #6: How many board-certified physicians will be assisting with the first stage of the procedure? Will there be physicians in training (residents) involved with my surgery?
Be sure to know exactly who will be involved in the procedure and why your doctor has chosen them to participate in the surgery.
Question #7: Will I have to sign a consent form saying, if a physician is unable to complete the procedure, I will have to consent to a TRAM/Free TRAM?
Always know exactly what you’re signing and agreeing to, and make sure you’re comfortable with the contract.
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