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The cost of happiness!

JhendersonJhenderson Member Posts: 8
edited May 2012 in General discussion

Hello, I met with a plastic & reconstructive surgeon yesterday to discuss my options for recon after having a mastectomy 3 years ago. It looks like I am a great candidate for a “Tram Flap” and a reduction on the other side. Really excited with the choice until we started to talk about the out of pocket dollars!! Surgery all up will cost around $25,000 but lucky I have private health so my out of pocket bill around $7,000 - $8,000. But then I will need to go back 6- 12 months later for a nipple recon and also all the x-rays and scans before the surgery which aren’t taken into this amount..And "Hey" not forgetting to mention all the other out of pocket expense I have already had with my treatment thus far (Looks like spag on toast for the next 6 months lol)

On a serious note I do feel guilty with all the extra expense I have put on my family. And sometimes thinks I should be just grateful to have my health back… Do any of you feel the same way?? Why does this journey have to make us broke along the way?

Jo x

Comments

  • sillysam83sillysam83 West Gippsland Member Posts: 378
    edited March 2015

    yum yum spag on toast LOL... 

    yeah recon can be very expensive. You can go public - but then the waiting period would be longer - however you wont send ur family broke in the meantime... just a thought! 

     

  • sillysam83sillysam83 West Gippsland Member Posts: 378
    edited March 2015

    yum yum spag on toast LOL... 

    yeah recon can be very expensive. You can go public - but then the waiting period would be longer - however you wont send ur family broke in the meantime... just a thought! 

     

  • JhendersonJhenderson Member Posts: 8
    edited March 2015

    I did look into the public system last year when I was living in Townsville. About 18mths - 2 yrs wait at that time and I was a little nervous not being able to pick the surgeon. Now living in Melbourne I guess the wait is just as long or even longer and still I have the concern about not getting the right person to do the job.. I think I might try the spag diet for a while, see how that goes...

  • sillysam83sillysam83 West Gippsland Member Posts: 378
    edited March 2015

    my surgeons works in public and private - ask your DR... I'm in Melbourne too :-) I have been in the public system since last yr had over 6 surgeries and had the same surgeon every time. If you dont like your surgeon etc you can still change in the public system (get a 2nd opinion as such) 

     

  • ShazinozShazinoz Member Posts: 307
    edited March 2015

    I had mine done public, and I got to choose my surgeon (he does public and private and asked me which one I wanted to use, he recommended the public becasue my out of pockets were going to be between $2000 & $10,000 and I have private hospital top cover with no excess, but I am a pensioner and couldn't come up with that out of pocket), as my mastectomy was for cancer I had an up to 30 days wiat (category 1 - must be done within 30 days), my other mastectomy and reconstruction will be done as an elective procedure so I will probabaly have a 1-2 yr wait,but I can do that),

    You see the surgeons before you make the appointment for surgery, until you find one you like, who also works in the public system and then go through them.Get a 2nd/ 3rd/ 4tn opinion until you find one you like (ask when you make the appointment, if they do public and private work, so that ou don't waste time), I saw my breast surgeon publically but my port surgeon privately and had both the surgeries done publically (the only difference was that I had to pay to see the port surgeon initially, but the breast surgeon cost me nothing).

    That is how you choose your surgeon in the public system. You only don't get a choice if it is emergency surgery. I chose my breast surgeon, port surgeon etc and if I didn't like either I would have chosen another until I found one I liked.

    Once you choose a surgeon and agree to surgery, they don't change the surgeon on you.

     

  • JhendersonJhenderson Member Posts: 8
    edited March 2015

    Thanks for the info I might do a bit more research to see what the choices I have going public in Melbourne. I didn't know you can ask for a 2nd opinion going public. I thought that was it... The guy I saw yesterday was the 3rd plastic surgeon I have met with in both states so I am getting a feeling about the type of surgeon I want. Thanks girls, you have been a huge help!

  • sillysam83sillysam83 West Gippsland Member Posts: 378
    edited March 2015

    Glad we could help with another option - even if u choose it is not for u. where abouts in melb r u? 

  • JhendersonJhenderson Member Posts: 8
    edited March 2015

    Mitcham, my husband works over this side so we thought try and keep the work/home balance. Also my sister lives in Vermont which is handy for me. Where are you?? I am going to go along to the Leap group tomorrow ...Have you heard of them??  

  • sillysam83sillysam83 West Gippsland Member Posts: 378
    edited March 2015

    Leap in Camberwell - yeah they were the first support group I went to last year. 

    Lets just say I hope u have more success than I - I only went the once. 

    I have a great support group now for young women and we meet up every few weeks. (atleast once a month, no regular day or time as everyone has different availability) 

    I live in Doncaster :-) 

    My parents live in Mitcham and I stay with them during my chemo weeks...

    My plastic surgeon in Derek Noeh (I think thats how u spell it) & he is thru Maroondah Hospital (Ringwood) Perhaps try contacting them. I do everything thru the Maroondah Breast Clinic and find it fantastic. (except their support groups are not for young women) 

     

     

  • JhendersonJhenderson Member Posts: 8
    edited March 2015

    We are basically neighbours then J ….How many chemo’s to go? I had 6 rounds of taxol every 21 days & I must admit by the 4 I was ready to kill someone. The steroids gave me side effects unfortunately and I would be lucky to have slept 1 hour a night for about 4 days after treatment. Hope your treatment is going well and if you ever felt like you would like to have a cuppa I'm around. I will look into the ringwood hospital, thanks heaps for all your information.

  • chemostylechemostyle Member Posts: 150
    edited March 2015

    I'm in Sydney ... public system will be a gift or lottery for reconstruction.  My surgeon does it here and there at public system.  It is the public bed that is the problem in NSW.   I admire Vic and S. Aust health system!

    Surgeon's advise, request and push for tissue expanders as the time of Mastectomy, then you are likely to get the subsequence surgeries at the public system.

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