State of the Nation - Question waiting times

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Dear online networkers

I hope you have all had a chance to complete our online Member Survey - if not you still have a chance to make your experience count. You can complete the survey here.

I am wanting to gather the range of waiting times you may have or are experiencing for a reconstruction.

You can post here or let me know directly at kpilatti@bcna.org.au

If you are keen to share then can you please include:
Your state, your hospital and what kind of reconstruction you are/ did wait for.

Looking forward to hearing your feedback - good and bad!

Cheers KP
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Comments

  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,524
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    Hi! Im Melinda and Im in Victoria and having Mastectomy/Diep Flap Reconstruction in the Royal Melbourne Hospital on Monday 27th Feb. I was placed as Category 1 which is immediate within weeks, due to a recurrence within 4yrs, but due to Christmas I chose Category 2 which was 90 days and its spot on since booking. 
  • Kirsten_BCNA
    Kirsten_BCNA Staff Posts: 57
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    Thanks @melclarity this is great news - and good luck for the 27th!
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,566
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    Hi!  I'm from Victoria, private patient, Hospital was the Epworth Freemasons in East Melbourne and I had immediate reconstruction.  Had discussion with breast surgeon giving me the final diagnosis and he suggesting surgery the next day but I talked my way out of that to catch my breath so 5 days later, mastectomy and expander put it.  Had a hiccup along the way with an infection (topical) changeover surgery to permanent implant was 5 months from mastectomy instead of 3 months. 
  • melclarity
    melclarity Member Posts: 3,524
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    @iserbrown oh Wow! Im a Private Patient also at Freemasons :) Ive been going there for 6yrs and see Craig Murphy so had 2 surgeries there as private...he told me not to go private for this one though as he and Dean Trotter work out of The Royal Melb and said Id have no out of pocket public. 
  • Hopes_and_Dreams
    Hopes_and_Dreams Member Posts: 760
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    Hi, I had a nipple sparing mastectomy on 1//8/16 at Pindara Private (Gold Coast) with an immediate silicone implant.  Had the option of going up a cup size with an expander but wanted it over and done with quickly and am happy with my decision.  
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
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    I had immediate reconstruction with my bilateral mastectomy using tissue expanders 20 days after seeibg a breadt surgeon with diagnosis. They 3/4 filled my teardrop shaped ones and used a dermal matrix sling so I awoke with breasts. The surgeon didn't want to see me until after chemo. As I live 500k away he was conscious of this. I had an appointment 1 week after chemo and had my last expansion. I then had an appointment 3 months later to review and set date for surgery. 90 days set..but it will be 120. So from mastectomy to final will be 14 months. I must say though I believe my healing will be better now and it has given me time to lose the gained 20kg prior surgery. So important when doing the final implant changeover and adjustment.  I did see the surgeon 3 monthly in this time and was given information of what would be happening next at each appointment. 
  • mum2jj
    mum2jj Member Posts: 4,331
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    I waited two years after my mastectomy in 2011.  I am in Cairns and went private as at the time there was no public plastic surgeon in Cairns.  I actually asked for an immediate reconstruction but was told by my breast surgeon that as my recurrence was only 6 months after completing all active treatment (lumpectomy/chemo and radiation) that it was more urgent to heal from mastectomy and have more chemo. It took me 6 months to get into a private plastic surgeon after finishing my chemo. I then was not well enough for the surgery for another 6 months.  I had my double TRAM flap (incliding prophylactic mastectomy) surgery at Cairns private hospital.


    On another note I am working with a lady who is not a BCNA member (trying to convince her to join).  She is in the public system at Cairns Hospital and had a double mastectomy 2 years ago and was not offered immediate reconstruction.  She has just found out that even though she asked she was not on the waiting list for reconstruction.  She has now been told it is a SEVEN year wait!

    Paula
  • Kirsten_BCNA
    Kirsten_BCNA Staff Posts: 57
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    Thank you all for your responses so far - this will all help in building our knowledge. So keep them coming!

    @mum2jj thank you for the update on your friend - I will continue to look into the waiting times at Cairns Hospital. 

    Have a great week!

    KP
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,566
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    Kirsten -  Does the public system have KPIs for surgeons to adhere to with public patients or is it more a case of where we can slot you in? 
    I'm private and have continuity but it comes with an out of pocket expense. 
  • Jane221
    Jane221 Member Posts: 1,195
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    Hi Kirsten, thank you for your efforts to understand more about this issue. I had a delayed (2yrs) after mastectomy, unilateral DIEP reconstruction in 2014 at Prince of Wales Private. I delayed my reconstruction due to uncertainty around treatment and the fact I needed some time to heal and prepare for that kind of surgery. At that time, DIEPs were not offered on the Central Coast, (where I live), so I needed to travel for this type of surgery, which was the one recommended to me by my breast surgeon (also at POW) due to skin issues / scarring from radiation. When I met with my plastic surgeon I was offered either public or private options and initially was put on the POW public private list. However, the wait was at least 365 days (Category 3) and so I decided to go private in order to be more in control of the timing and to ensure I had the surgeon I wanted. We have top level private cover but there was still a signifcant gap (around $8,000).

    For the further two surgeries I required as part of the reconstruction process (1 revision/ breast lift of the other side and nipple reconstruction), I again went private, but was able to negotiate no gap. However, with the revision / breast lift and the nipple reconstruction I did have to argue with my private health insurer that it was not cosmetic surgery, but was part of the reconstructive process, which was an extremely stressful and upsetting thing to be doing. Eventually (with my surgeon's support) they agreed, but I am aware that this situation is not uncommon and may be one of the reasons that some women either forego reconstruction all together, or opt to sit on a public waiting list for years.  
  • Cate64
    Cate64 Member Posts: 446
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    I had an immediate DIEP reconstruction on the BC side, then 6 months later I had a prophylactic mastecomy & reconstruction (using butt tissue), I only waited about 6 weeks for it, saw the surgeon, went on list received date 2 weeks later for 4 weeks after that. 
  • Kirsten_BCNA
    Kirsten_BCNA Staff Posts: 57
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    HI @Cate64 - are you able to tell me if this was public or private and what hospital it was - what a great result for you.
  • Kirsten_BCNA
    Kirsten_BCNA Staff Posts: 57
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    Hi @Jane221 - sadly your out of pocket expenses are not unusual. Thank you for providing so much detail - it is very helpful in my fact finding.
  • Cate64
    Cate64 Member Posts: 446
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    @Kirsten_BCNA I was a public patient at The Northern Hospital
  • mum2jj
    mum2jj Member Posts: 4,331
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    Thank you all for your responses so far - this will all help in building our knowledge. So keep them coming!

    @mum2jj thank you for the update on your friend - I will continue to look into the waiting times at Cairns Hospital. 

    Have a great week!

    KP

    Thank you so much for this, she is beside herself at the thought of waiting that long.
    Paula x