FAQs for consultations

Frequently asked questions on mastectomies

An extensive, complex procedure like a mastectomy obviously needs to be planned in great detail, and every patient has different treatment needs. I would be very glad to answer all of your questions in detail at our personal consultation session. To help you find out more about mastectomy procedures in advance, I’ve collected and answered a few of the most commonly asked questions here. The text is also available for download.

To apply for reimbursement, bring your psychologist/psychiatrist’s referral to your consultation, or send it in afterward.

We’ll go over all the important details together at your individual consultation. Most people do not need to take any special preparatory measures, nor is it necessary for you to undergo hormone therapy prior to your operation.

No, that won’t be necessary.

Testosterone gel will not affect the procedure. You can continue applying it as usual.

We work with two hospitals. The operation will be performed either at the Zuger Kantonsspital in Baar or at the Limmatklinik in Zurich.

No, our surgical team will shave and disinfect the area immediately before the operation.

Mastectomies are performed under total anesthesia. Your anesthesiologist will give you a complete explanation of the process before your operation.

On average, the procedure takes two and a half to three hours, depending primarily on the size of your breasts and the surgical technique being used.

We generally use a periareolar incision (around the areola) on smaller breasts; with larger breasts, we make a larger incision in order to remove the patient’s mammary glands.

In most cases, yes. We use a precise template to reduce patients’ areola size to around 2.5 – 2.8 cm, and shift their nipples into a natural position on the chest.

The risk of complications can never be ruled out entirely, but nipples/areolas have a very good recovery prognosis in general—around 95 to 100 percent, in fact.

Some patients report decreased chest and nipple sensitivity immediately following their mastectomies. Most patients recover full sensation within six months, but it can occasionally take up to two years. Permanent loss of sensitivity is very rare.

You can either check into the hospital the day before the mastectomy or arrive two hours before the procedure. Make sure not to eat or drink anything in the hours leading up to the operation.

Catheters are not necessary for mastectomies. In most cases, we insert two small drainage tubes after the procedure to help discharge flow out of the wound. The tubes will be shortened after two days, and then removed on the third day following your surgery.

Most patients are able to leave the hospital after two to three days.

Some of the suture material will dissolve on its own, so it will not need to be removed. The rest will be taken out after seven to ten days.

Yes. Immediately after your mastectomy, we will apply a soft, protective dressing to the treatment area, which I will change for you during my rounds. After two to three days, we will swap the dressing for a special compression vest.

You should wear the compression vest day and night for four to six weeks following the operation.

Your follow-up appointments will be at my clinic in Zurich. We will have you come in for a checkup every two to three days or so.

You can start taking short showers around three days after the procedure, using special waterproof bandages.

Yes, you can—deodorant won’t be a problem. Just make sure not to spray it directly onto the operated area.

Early mobilization can be beneficial to the healing process, so you are welcome to start going on short walks immediately following the procedure. However, you should avoid doing high-intensity sports for the first six weeks or so.

Exposure to direct sunlight or UV radiation (tanning beds) can cause surgical scars to darken, so we recommend not tanning or exposing the treatment area to sun while the scars are still active (red/pink).

After around two weeks, you can start treating your scars by gently massaging a little body lotion into the area.

The individual healing process takes time—you may still see swelling or redness several weeks or months after the procedure. The final results will not be visible for at least six months. After that, if you are not satisfied with the results, I would be glad to sit down with you at my clinic to discuss corrective options, including any necessary scar correction work.