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BRCA1 / Category 3 / Waiting list...is this normal?

Hello All, I'm hoping for some advice and feedback.  After being diagnosed with HER2 positive BC, I was treated at St.Vincent's public (Melbourne).  I was sent to Peter Mac, genetic clinic where I was found to carry BRCA1.  I was told to finish my treatment (radiation) and then to return to Peter Mac to deal with the results.  Six months later I had my ovaries removed.  Another six moths later I was added to the waiting list for DIEP surgery, despite the fact I had made the decision to have the surgery.  Now 18 months later I am still on the waiting list, to be told that the plastic surgeon is on unplanned leave and everything is further delayed.  As I understand it, I can: be referred to another plastic surgeon at the Peter Mac, get a referral and ring around other public hospital or go private (jeez...why didn't I think of that one 18 months ago?)

Has anyone else had similar experiences?  Is this a Peter Mac thing or just the way the public system works?  


  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,347
    My surgeon said to me, whether you carry a gene or not currently your treatment is just the same. 
    So ovaries are gone which is great.
    Remember this is prophylactic surgery and at this time doesn't pose an immediate risk. You would still be under breast surgeon and oncology review so it's not like you aren't being reviewed.
    But it wouldn't  hurt to make the phone calls you suggested  and also ask if replacement surgeon has been hired to cover leave.

  • youngdogmumyoungdogmum Gold Coast Member Posts: 249
    No, it’s normal. I’m a cat 3 for DIEP in Queensland. I have been told I might get done slightly earlier than others given my young age under 30 but ultimately it’s not essential surgery and this is public health care in Oz. It’s a great system for life threatening things.
    however my young friend I met at chemo came back brca2 during treatment and has had her implants and bilat mastectomy done already after being referred in August, I think it was only 2 months wait. Its probably the need for plastics as opposed to just breast surgeons being DIEP.
    if you have private cover maybe get some quotes to see your out of pocket and decide from there?
  • strongtogetherstrongtogether BrisbaneMember Posts: 146
    All the best and hoping you get your surgery done asap. 
    I just wanted to say that we are lucky to have our public health system, it sometimes takes some time but the services really are excellent. 
    All the best.
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