Why are you recommending this procedure? What are the options?
What are the risks? How do they compare with the benefits?
How do I prepare for surgery?
What type of anesthesia will I have?
What happens during and right after surgery?
Who do I talk to about breast reconstruction?
How long will I be in the hospital?
Are there any complications?
When can I go back to work and resume normal activities?
What are the risks of lymphedema?
Before surgery, your surgeon should provide:
Specific instructions to follow in the days before surgery
An overview of the surgical procedures
Information about recovery and follow-up care
After surgery, watch for complications such as infection or lymphedema, swelling in your arm or hand. Call your doctor immediately if you see signs of swelling, a build-up of fluid, redness, or other symptoms of infection.
Procedures used for determining the stage of breast cancer should be modified for pregnant women to avoid radiation exposure to the fetus. Nuclear scans cause fetal radiation exposure. If such scans are essential for evaluation, hydration and Foley catheter drainage of the bladder can be used to prevent retention of radioactivity. Timing of the exposure to radiation relative to the gestational age of the fetus may be more critical than the actual dose of radiation delivered. Radiation exposure...