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How do I select a breast surgeon to treat my breast cancer?

I would recommend selecting a surgeon who has focused his or her practice on breast care, is preferably fellowship trained, and works in a breast center. Pick a surgeon that you feel comfortable with and someone who answers your questions adequately.
Ajay K. Sahajpal, MD
Transplant Surgery

Selecting a breast surgeon should be based on several criteria: referrals from trusted sources (other doctors, friends, and breast cancer survivors), board certification, and malpractice history. It is always best to get a second opinion when searching for a breast surgeon.

Questions to ask a potential surgeon include:

  • Practice history (length of career, number of breast surgeries a year)
  • What are the breast cancer guidelines the physician follows?
  • What other types of patients do you treat?
Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery

It is important to find a specialist who treats breast cancer weekly.  Breast cancer surgeons have trained in general surgery and may also have training in oncological surgery.  They understand the anatomy of the breast and will be able to remove the correct amount of tissue as well as lymph node dissection as necessary.  Look at their curriculum vitae, medical school training, residency, fellowship, years of experience, and specific specialization.  Find out what hospital he or she is attending of and how many lumpectomies or mastectomies that that specific doctor performs annually.  Look at many before and after photographs and also find out which plastic and reconstructive surgeon will work with that surgeon in reconstructing your breast.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.