St. Luke's Hospital
Located in Chesterfield, MO
Main Number: 314-434-1500
Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia


    Mastectomy and breast reconstruction - what to ask your doctor

    Mastectomy - what to ask your doctor; Breast reconstruction - what to ask your doctor; TRAM flap - what to ask your doctor; Latissimus dorsi flap - what to ask your doctor; What to ask your doctor about mastectomy and breast reconstruction

    You may be having a mastectomy. This issurgery to remove your breast. Most often, a mastectomy is done to treat breast cancer.Sometimes it is done to prevent cancer in women who have a high risk of getting breast cancer in the future.You may also have breast reconstruction. This issurgery to create a new breast after mastectomy.

    Below are some questions you may want to ask yourhealth care providerabout mastectomy and breast reconstruction.


    What is the best treatment for my type of breast cancer?

    • Do I need to have surgery or will other treatments work? Do I have a choice of what type of surgery to have?
    • What types of cancer treatment will I need before or after surgery? Will these treatments be different depending on the type of surgery I have?
    • Will one type of breast surgery work better for my breast cancer?
    • Will I need to have radiation therapy?
    • Will I need to have chemotherapy?
    • What is my risk of getting cancer in the other breast?
    • Should I have my other breast removed?

    What are the different types of mastectomy?

    • How is the scar different with these surgeries?
    • Is there a difference in how much pain I will have afterward?
    • Is there a difference in how long it will take to get better?
    • Will any of my chest muscles be removed?
    • Will any lymph nodes under my arm be removed?

    What are the risks of the type of mastectomy I will have?

    • Will I have shoulder pain?
    • Will I have swelling in my arm?
    • Will I be able to do the work and sports activities that I want to?
    • For which of my medical problems (such as diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure) do I need to see myprimary care providerbefore my surgery?

    Can I have surgery to create a new breast after my mastectomy (breast reconstruction)?

    • What are the different choices? Which choice will look more like a natural breast?
    • Can I have breast reconstruction during the same surgery as my mastectomy? If not, how long do I need to wait?
    • Will I have a nipple also?
    • Will I have feeling in my new breast?
    • What are the risksof each type of breast reconstruction?
    • If I do not have reconstruction, what are my options? Can I wear a prosthesis?

    How can I get my home ready before I even go to the hospital?

    • How much help will I need when I come home? Will I be able to get out of bed without help?
    • How do I make sure my home will be safe for me?
    • What type of supplies will I need when I get home?
    • Do I need to rearrange my home?

    How can I prepare myself emotionally for the surgery? What types of feelings can I expect to have? Can I talk with people who have had a mastectomy?

    What medicines should I take the day of the surgery? Are there any medicines I should not take on the day of the surgery?

    What will the surgery and my stay in the hospital be like?

    • How long will the surgery last?
    • What type of anesthesia will be used? Are there choices to consider?
    • Will I be in a lot of pain after surgery? If so, what will be done to relieve the pain?
    • How soon will I be getting up and moving around?

    What will it be like when I go home?

    • What will my wound be like? How do I take care of it? When canI shower or bathe?
    • Will I have any drains to drain fluid from my surgical site?
    • Will I have much pain? What medicines can I take for the pain?
    • When can I start using my arm? Are there exercises I should do?
    • When will I be able to drive?
    • When will I be able to return to work?


          A Closer Look

          Talking to your MD

          Self Care

            Tests for Mastectomy and breast reconstruction - what to ask your doctor

              Review Date: 1/24/2013

              Reviewed By: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, General Surgery practice specializing in breast cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

              The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

              A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.

              Back  |  Top
              About Us
              Contact Us
              Locations & Directions
              Quality Reports
              Annual Reports
              Honors & Awards
              Community Health Needs

              Brain & Spine
              Sleep Medicine
              Urgent Care
              Women's Services
              All Services
              Patients & Visitors
              Locations & Directions
              Find a Physician
              Tour St. Luke's
              Patient & Visitor Information
              Contact Us
              Payment Options
              Financial Assistance
              Send a Card
              Mammogram Appointments
              Health Tools
              My Personal Health
              Spirit of Women
              Health Information & Tools
              Clinical Trials
              Employer Programs -
              Passport to Wellness

              Classes & Events
              Classes & Events
              Spirit of Women
              Donate & Volunteer
              Giving Opportunities
              Physicians & Employees
              For Physicians
              Remote Access
              Medical Residency Information
              Pharmacy Residency Information
              Physician CPOE Training
              St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
              Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Notice of Privacy Practices PDF  |  Patient Rights PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile