One is BIGGER than the other!

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Oski
Oski Member Posts: 3
edited April 2023 in General discussion
Hi
I had an early diagnosis and lumpectomy, chemo, radiation and follow up treatment of right breast in 2003 (aged 45 years). As I've aged, my treated breast is shrinking and shrinking and shrinking and is now very obviously a different size to my left breast.
1 Has anyone else experience this?
2 Do you think it would be considered 'medically necessary' surgery if I wanted a reconstruction for health fund purposes?
Appreciate any feedback - thank you so much.

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  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,667
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    Gosh @Oski - Personally, I haven't heard of this sort of extreme shrinkage - but I know that my own lumpectomy (with fat redistributed into the 'hole') has 'settled' over the last 5 years with a bit of a 'dip' - but not enough for me to worry about it, or need for further surgery.  

    Radiation can cause some shrinkage (and/or firmness of the tissue) ....

    I've just searched 'breast shrinkage' and there are definitely a few saying the same ...
    https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/search?query=breast shrinkage&scope=site&source=community

    Have you spoken with your GP about this?  Is your surgeon still 'active'?  Tho I guess you'd be seeing a Plastic Surgeon for reduction of the other breast ( .. just make sure they are proficient Breast Cancer surgeon!) 

    I would be surprised if it wasn't deemed medically necessary (both for your mental health and physical health) but who knows - they can be very good at getting out of not paying for stuff! ...

    I guess it depends on how the PS (plastic surgeon) 'words it' and which category they choose for the 'forms' ....   Definitely raise it with all your health team .... and I wish you luck 

    take care
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,311
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    Hi @Oski, my lumpectomy removed a orange size lump and margin so it was definitely vastly different so at the time of my lumpectomy I also had a lift. I waited a year after treatment of chemo and radium and then reduced and lifted the other breadt. They are almost matching and close in size so I am pleased I did the second surgery. I hope you can see someone about it to discuss it and see what you want to do.
  • Oski
    Oski Member Posts: 3
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    Thanks Arpie and Cath 62. I had a little look around Medicare etc and I think what I need to do is get an official report saying that there is 'at least' 10% difference in size of both breasts. (which there sure is) I have no idea how you do that, or who does, it? So I guess I will now follow up with my GP who will have to get the ball rolling. Another Mammogram maybe?
  • Cath62
    Cath62 Member Posts: 1,311
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    My surgeon who did both surgeries said it was medically required so if you are wanting to use the same surgeon just check with them. I think they would say it was required for medical purposes.
  • Oski
    Oski Member Posts: 3
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    Hi
    Cath and Arpie - yes well I am going ahead with discussing with my GP tomorrow. I think now I just need to find an appropriate cosmetic breast surgeon, and get the referral arranged.

    It is 20 years this year since my diagnosis and first surgery (that will be another celebration) - so I think I'll be asking Perth WA gals for any recommendations for surgeons.
    Thanks again xx
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,667
    edited April 2023
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    All the best for your appt tomorrow @Oski - I hope you can get a satisfactory outcome xx

    HUGE congrats on your 20 years anniversary! xxx
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,544
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    Congrats to 20 healthy years - massive achievement 🙌🏻🙌🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻♥️♥️♥️