What to ask

At Minimally Invasive Institute of Surgery, we are thrilled to work with our resident Surgical Oncologist Dr. Jinny Gunn. Dr. Gunn is skilled at minimally invasive robotic operations specific to breast care. Dr. Gunn will walk her patients through the operation options, and answer questions to ensure they understand the procedure, possible outcomes, and risks. Check out our list of frequently asked questions for ideas on some things you may want to discuss at the time of your appointment.

Ask the Medical Oncologist

• What medications will I be receiving?
• When will the treatments start?
• How many weeks will treatment last?
• What days of the week are treatments?
• How much time will each treatment take?
• What will I experience during the treatment?
– Any hot flashes, nausea, lightheadedness?
• Are there any physical limitations during treatment?
• Can I continue to work during treatments?
• Can I exercise?

• What are the side effects of each medication?
– Short term
– Long term
• Will I lose my hair?
• Is there anything I should avoid during treatment?
– Foods
– Medications, over-the-counter medications, vitamins or supplements
– Sick contacts, public places
• If I decide on reconstructive surgery, how will chemotherapy/endocrine therapy affect my treatment plan?
• How often will I see the doctor during treatment?
• How often will I need lab-work and imaging studies?

Ask the Radiation Oncologist

• Will the radiation treatment cover my whole breast?
• When will the treatments start?
• How many weeks will treatment last?
• What days of the week are treatments?
• How much time will each treatment take?
• What will I experience during the treatment?
– Any pain or discomfort?
• Are there any physical limitations during treatment?
• Can I continue to work during treatments?
• Can I exercise?
• Should I wear special clothing during treatment?
• What type of bra would be best during treatment?

• What are the side effects of radiation?
– Short term
– Long term
• Will I lose my hair?
• How can I care for my skin during treatment?
• Can the radiation damage other organs (heart, lung)?
• Is there anything I should avoid during treatment?
– Deodorant
– Lotions
– Medications
– Activities, sun, extreme cold, etc.
• If I decide on reconstructive surgery, how will radiation affect my treatment plan?
• How often will I see the doctor during treatment?

Ask the Surgeon

• What type of surgery am I a candidate for?
• What are the risks involved?
– Mastectomy
– Lumpectomy
• How long will my surgery take?
• Will I need to stay overnight in the hospital?
• What is my expected recovery time?
– Mastectomy
– Lumpectomy
• Will my lymph node(s) be tested during surgery?
– When will you know if my lymph nodes are positive or negative?
– If positive, will I need all of my lymph nodes removed?
– How does the removal of my lymph nodes affect my chances of getting lymphedema?
• Will I have a surgical drain?
– How many?
– How long?
• Are there any medications or over the counter supplements I need to stop taking?
• When can I return to my normal activities?
– Work
– Exercise
• Will I have stitches?
• Will I need a special bra?
• When will I know the final pathology?
• Will I need additional treatments (chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy)?
• Am I a candidate for breast reconstruction?
– Can reconstruction be done at the same time of surgery?
– Do you have recommendations for a plastic surgeon?
• When do I need to make a decision?