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On the roller coaster

Lynn1Lynn1 DarwinMember Posts: 12
edited June 2019 in Newly diagnosed
Hi everyone.  Waiting for my biopsy results.  Left breast with one huge 6cm and few smaller ones.  Ultrasound showed no lymph nodes affected.  So as I’m trying to prepare.  I am in NT and would like to know about your breast surgeons etc.  I’m thinking of travelling interstate for the surgery.  My reason is our public hospital made a huge error with my colleague.  The path results showed she had reoccurring bc and they booked her in for mastectomy.  Only to find out 2 weeks later there was no bc and she did not need the mastectomy and their pathology made the mistake.  So having said that you can imagine my gut is saying no, no to the hospital and all it’s bc staff.  If you’re comfortable to share your experience and surgeon info etc, is really appreciate that.  Putting it blunt, I don’t have control of the lumps but at least I can have control of choosing the hospital and surgeon.  Thanks.  Would love to hear your thoughts.  


  • RomlaRomla AdelaideMember Posts: 2,003
    I’m from Adelaide and had Dr Jim Kollias as my surgeon - he was first class and the consultant Breast Screen uses down here .He is a calm and compassionate human being highly recommend.He practices both privately at St Andrews and publicly at the Royal Adelaide Hospital .Also hear Dr Melissa Bochner who he trained is excellent.Small tip radiotherapy is same whether public or private but private can have heavy excess - my 16 round was $2000 excess .With benefit of hindsight I’d be a private patient at a public hospital so I could have the surgeon of my choice and have my radiotherapy done publicly.  Ie you can combine public and private.
  • RomlaRomla AdelaideMember Posts: 2,003
    PS I have been told by many women about the wonderful nursing care at Flinders Medical Centre both during and after surgery - after care support from my private hospital St Andrews was nonexistent.
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 3,891
    edited June 2019
    Sorry to see you here, @Lynn1 - you are in the right spot for answers to any question that you care to post. 

    That's a shocking story about your friend  :(   I fully understand your need to look elsewhere for your own treatment.  I live in rural NSW & went to Sydney for my own surgery, as I wasn't happy to have it done locally.

    My surgeon, Dr James French, is Head of Breast Surgery at Westmead Breast Cancer Institute, Sydney, and works out of Westmead, Norwest and Lakeview Private Hospitals in Baulkham Hills/Norwest.  He is terrific & is very mindful of an aesthetic outcome, using breast conserving surgery & immediate reconstruction whenever he can.   

    All the best for your decision making. take care xx
  • Lynn1Lynn1 DarwinMember Posts: 12
    Thank you.  How long ago did you have surgery and what surgery option did you take?  (Sorry if it’s intrusive).
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 3,891
    edited June 2019
    @Lynn1 - my surgery was 17th Jan 2018.   

    I had Invasive Lobular Cancer & had breast conserving surgery/lumpectomy with immediate reconstruction.   I was lucky not to need chemo - but had 4 weeks of radiation (prone position) & have been on AIs for about 9+ months now.  I started on Letrozole for 6 weeks, then Exemestane for 6 months & now on Arimidex. 

    My surgery was private ($2000+ gap) and my radiation was public (free - with just a small cost for accommodation at the hospital - most was subsidised by the Gov), as the treatment is daily & I had it at Port Macquarie as it was not available locally.

    take care xx

  • Lynn1Lynn1 DarwinMember Posts: 12
    Thank you for sharing.  
  • Lynn1Lynn1 DarwinMember Posts: 12
    What type sorry to ask again.  What type of reconstruction did you have?  
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,973
    @primek also may be able to give you some information about recon in Adelaide and the logistics of travelling interstate for treatment. 
    No wonder you are gun shy about  having surgery locally, though there is nothing like a massive cock up to make a hospital get its act together. 
    Good luck. MXX
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,592
    I had Jim Kollias as well but have heard good things about other surgeons down here.  I guess it depends on where you're able to go easily.  You won't know for sure what you're dealing with until the path report comes back post-surgery so you will want to stay wherever you are at least until then.
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 3,891
    Mine was only very minor recon, @Lynn1 - my tumour was in the lobules under the nipple (which was isolated & then re-situated after the surgery.)  By the time the tumours were removed, it would have left a serious 'dent'  in the boob (minor when conpared to what others have had to go thru, I know ....) so the surgeon really just redistributed the fat in the boob, to smooth it all out. 

    But he is always out to get the best visual effect from any surgery that he does, for your long term benefit.

    As @Sister says - you will have to hang around at least til after the Path Reports come in, in case further surgery is required.  Do you have family or friends in any of the major cities that you have on your short list?  I would think a lot of NT people would go to Adelaide?

    take care xx
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,353
    I also had James Kollias in Adelaide through the RAH but I believe he is taking 12 montbs off. My friend had Melissa Bochner through the RAH and was very impressed.
  • kitkatbkitkatb Member Posts: 442
    I agree with @Zoffiel nothing like a mistake to make them get there act together.   Guarantee they have implemented some procedures to ensure that doesn't happen again.  
  • RomlaRomla AdelaideMember Posts: 2,003
    Rang Doctor Kollias’s staff today - he is taking a break from his public practice until end January 2020 but is continuing at his private practice. @primek
  • Lynn1Lynn1 DarwinMember Posts: 12
    Yes, thank you.  I rang to enquire.  I was happy to book an appointment.  I feel confident after reading all the feedback here.  Thank you for your help.  
  • RomlaRomla AdelaideMember Posts: 2,003
    @Lynn1 there is good accomodation for country cancer people near treatment centres that maybe of interest to follow up. @primek  maybe able to assist with information about this.
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