The reality star spoke to TooFab about her biopsy scare, which was teased in the "RHONJ" Season 11 trailer. While Dolores didn't reveal the reason behind the test -- noting that fans will see what happens in the show -- she explained the importance of women getting breast exams.
"Everything is okay, but you'll see that there's a lot that I go through," shared Dolores, who works as a surgical assistant. "I really want to advocate for women to take care of their personal health because a lot of women put it aside and time goes by very fast."
The Bravo star stressed that women must go to their annual mammogram appointments.
"Going for your mammogram is like a seatbelt," she said. "You may not need it but when you do it'll save your life. It's so important because I work with women with breast cancer in their 30s -- young in their 30s who [have] no history -- but I mean you have to really take care of yourself. You have to go for your annual gynecology checkups and mammograms."
"It's just so important. Nobody likes to do it. It's not like Botox," she explained. "You know you're not walking out of there saying, 'Yeah I'm looking hot tonight. My Botox is kicking in.' You know that's not what it is, but it's not a priority. Botox isn't a priority. Your health is a priority and that's now my goal in life, you'll see."
Dolores also shared details about having a tummy tuck over the summer, noting that it's "not for the faint of heart."
"I've waited a couple of years to do this tummy tuck because the recovery is no joke," she said of the surgery, which was performed by Dr. Joseph Michaels. "It is not for the faint of heart. It is not easy. It's no joke, but it's so worth it. It's always worth it when it's done right."
For facial procedures, Dolores said she sees Dr. Mark Karolak.
As for why she's so open about her plastic surgery, Dolores said she wants people to visit the "best" surgeons possible.
"Those two doctors I promise you I have all the faith in the world. You will have not one complaint," she explained. "So that's why I share my stories and that's why I shared my facelift, before and afters so that people go to the right people. You know they're in the right hands. I'm a surgical assistant so I know who's good and who's not. ... I work with surgeons so I know a good doctor and I find the best."
Meanwhile, also during her interview with TooFab, Dolores revealed she's recovering from Covid-19. While Dolores' family had the virus over the holidays, she didn't sick at the time, despite taking care of them. As for how she ultimately contracted the virus, Dolores said it may have happened when she opened a bag of chips and was munching on them while shopping at the grocery store, but she isn't entirely sure.
"I don't know if that was it. You don't know... you really can't track," she explained. "I wasn't anywhere. I don't know, but I'm still not well from it. It's been three weeks now and I have inhalers. I have a hard time breathing. I was at the lung specialist yesterday."
Dolores said she was "secluded" for 15 days by herself.
"I couldn't leave the house," she recalled, adding that she was "too sick to move" at one point. "It's so freaking hard. It's so lonely. I mean I don't mind living alone, but I'll go to the gym, I'll go there, or I'll go see my friend, or I'll go see my mother. You can't see anybody. So it was rough."
Although it was difficult to be alone for weeks, Dolores noted that it's our responsibility to look out for other people.
"You can't leave," she said. "You have to think about other people that you don't want to get them sick. You have to really in your mind say, 'This is not something I'm going to give to somebody who's going to take it home to their sick grandma or their older parent.' It's our duty as human beings to care about other people. You just have to."
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" Season 11 premieres Wednesday, February 17 at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.