Delayed DIEP Flap - Questions regarding anesthesiologists and fees.

au0rei Member Posts: 248
Hi everyone, I have not been here online for a long time. Hope you are well.

I have been waiting for my breast reconstruction on the public queue  since before COVID hit and have been told that all delayed breast recon has been on hold and right now there is a lot of backlog to clear. Recon is only happening to those who are going through immediate surgeries for cancer diagnosis.

I am weighing my options looking at doing the recon (DIEP-Flap) privately. My mastectomy was in 2016 and I just found it hard to keep waiting and who knows maybe it will be another 2 years. I have just obtained a quote from a consultant in Melbourne. However, the reception of my consultant was not able to give me some names of anesthesiologists that I can try to obtain a quote. She says the quote can only be given when an anesthesiologist is confirmed. I really want to get a quote as I really do not have money lying around LOL. I understand that anesthesiologist fees are a lot and I have to save up for this big surgery!

Is there anyone who had used anesthesiologist here in Melbourne and can recommend to me? Are you able to advise me the fees and rebates from Medicare?

Any help is greatly appreciated. xx


  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 1,153
    Hi there I am in Sydney so can’t help with a recommendation for Melbourne.
    Even though I’m a private health fund ( which covered all my private hospital fees for the mastectomy and delayed DIEP surgery) my out of pockets for the surgeons and anaesthetist were steep ( my husband said “ well that’s the money for the overseas holidays we couldn’t have due to covid”).
    The fee from the anaesthetist was a lot but then I was in surgery for 9 hours for the double DIEP.
    I didn’t think to shop around as my plastic surgeon ( who is amazing) recommended him.
    Good luck in your search and the surgery.
    I am 9 months post and very happy.
    Also ask to join the private group on here “ Choosing Breast Reconstruction “ if you haven’t already it has lots of great photos and stories from others who have been there.
  • VSP
    VSP Member Posts: 10
    Hi there auOrei,
    I had a double mastectomy with DIEP recon in February at the Epworth Hospital.  The anaesthetist was arranged by my plastic surgeon and I didn’t get a choice.  Like Jules1958 I was in surgery for 9-10 hours.  My anaesthetist was Dr Burger van der Merwe.  He and his anaesthetic nurse were lovely and very reassuring.  
    The cost for me was approximately $800 per hour that I was under the anaesthetic; I received about a quarter of the total amount I paid in rebates from Medicare and my private health fund.  I believe there is a bit of variation in fees and was told initially by my surgeon that the anaesthetic fee would be between $650 and $800 per hour.  Your surgery will also be much shorter than mine was.  If you are able to get a quote, ask for the item numbers.  You can then call Medicare and ask them what you would receive back.
    Best of luck with it all.
  • au0rei
    au0rei Member Posts: 248
    Thank you so much @VSP as mine will most likely be a single double stack DIEP flap, my surgeon told me it will roughly be 6 hours. Did not know that anaesthetist fees are such costly but guess I know now! x