Reconstruction: Time between expansion and second surgery

Posted by KK57 @kk57, Sep 26 11:02am

For those who’ve had reconstruction, how long did you have to wait from your final expansion to your second surgery? I’m having to wait three months, which seems excessive. Just wondering if this is what others have experienced, or if I have a unique scheduling issue.

My PS said same thing: 3 months after last expansion.

REPLY

What type of reconstruction are you planning? Does it involve implants? If yes, what material? I had silicone implants for reconstruction which ruptured and caused a silicone spill throughout my body. I was in the Dow Corning lawsuit. Now I use Prostheses in a bra designed for that. Waiting for the surgery is ok….probably a good thing…one needs to heal well because the body will be stressed by foreign material in It from implants. You need to recover from one surgery before considering another. Better for the body.

REPLY

I had my expander put in at time of my mastectomy on July 28th of this year. I had the follow up with the plastic surgeon about three weeks ago. I currently am waiting for an appointment with a general surgeon on a different health issue. He didn't give me a specific date when to get the permanent implants in. He mentioned a patient waited fIve years to get hers done. The patient told him she had been to busy to get it done. He just used that story as an example of how long the expander can stay in. I just found that to be quite strange for someone to wait that long. I would like to get mine done before the end of the year for insurance purposes. I plan to schedule in October for the permanent implants to be done in early December. That's my plan anyway!

REPLY

I had to wait 11months. Cedars-Sinai LA. She said it was necessary to make sure everything was healed and skin doing good after chemo radiation which was finished after 4 months.

REPLY
@happy2bhear

I had to wait 11months. Cedars-Sinai LA. She said it was necessary to make sure everything was healed and skin doing good after chemo radiation which was finished after 4 months.

Jump to this post

Hmmm, since I only had to have two chemotherapy treatments and no radiation I'm wondering now if I'll have to wait that many months. My last chemotherapy treatment was June 7th and my breast surgery was July 28th. I need to get my other health issue; achalasia type 111; procedure done first anyway, before getting the permanent implants in. And find out if my first breast surgery cost also includes the final surgery cost. Haven't heard from my insurance company a out how much they paid for my breast surgeon and my plastic surgeon. I was told by the hospital billing department that the surgery bill for the two surgeons is $156,000. I should think that would include the final implants, since it will just involve the plastic surgeon this time.

REPLY

I can’t say for certain. I do know that they are required by law to do the final surgery. I think it’s in the charge. You have insurance and have to pay that much more?
Recognize your first surgery was by oncologist surgeon. And after they were finished is when plastic surgeon came in. Honestly, the wait was a bit long but having it all right away is maybe too quick. You want this to be done correctly, looking good and feeling good. I had double, so recovery is important.

And I will say, I’m not happy with mine. I’m seeing a MAYO plastic surgeon next month. First I had MRI and a couple other tests, but I’m in pain and they do not match. I was nonchalant about it thinking all would be done well. One feels like I have a chain link clamp around it. MRI showed no cancer and no broken implants but somehow it’s not in there correctly. I would be very happy w temporaries for as long as possible making sure you are back to normal everywhere before going in for the final time. The recovery is faster, not so much drainage. But to each her own. And I hope those numbers aren’t what you have to pay out of pocket. Good luck.

REPLY
@happy2bhear

I can’t say for certain. I do know that they are required by law to do the final surgery. I think it’s in the charge. You have insurance and have to pay that much more?
Recognize your first surgery was by oncologist surgeon. And after they were finished is when plastic surgeon came in. Honestly, the wait was a bit long but having it all right away is maybe too quick. You want this to be done correctly, looking good and feeling good. I had double, so recovery is important.

And I will say, I’m not happy with mine. I’m seeing a MAYO plastic surgeon next month. First I had MRI and a couple other tests, but I’m in pain and they do not match. I was nonchalant about it thinking all would be done well. One feels like I have a chain link clamp around it. MRI showed no cancer and no broken implants but somehow it’s not in there correctly. I would be very happy w temporaries for as long as possible making sure you are back to normal everywhere before going in for the final time. The recovery is faster, not so much drainage. But to each her own. And I hope those numbers aren’t what you have to pay out of pocket. Good luck.

Jump to this post

The $156,000 is the total charges; I haven't gotten anything from insurance yet. Seems like I would have by now. So, I have no idea how much out of pocket it or if any. Maybe that is why I haven't heard from the insurance; might be waiting on the final surgery. I could inquire, but haven't yet. Too many other health issues at this time to deal with I guess.

REPLY

I don’t think insurance will withhold amounts like that. Mayo has a section where you can figure out about how much you will pay. Maybe your hospital has that also.

REPLY

Depends on Dr. Originally my nurse told me I would have to wait 3 months. I asked why and she told me that they take cancer patients over reconstruction. Since I'm cancer free now there's no urgency in my surgery. I was so disappointed but when I went for the pre op appointment and the scheduler scheduled me for about 3 weeks out. I was so relieved. I'm 8 weeks post surgery now and feel much better. Hope that helps.

REPLY

Thanks, all. I guess at Mayo you must wait three months from last expansion for healing purposes. Wasn’t expecting that, but sounds like it is similar everywhere. Good luck, all. Sending healing energy.

REPLY
@kk57

Thanks, all. I guess at Mayo you must wait three months from last expansion for healing purposes. Wasn’t expecting that, but sounds like it is similar everywhere. Good luck, all. Sending healing energy.

Jump to this post

Well, then, If they have me wait three months, then by December I should be able to have the permanent implants put in. The left breast cancer was 26 years ago. I had that implant done 7 years after cancer treatments. Now when I have my expander taken out on the right breast to have the permanent implant put in, the plastic surgeon is going to take out the old implant in the left to put in a new implant because of how old it is. He said they should be replaced every 10-15 years. Any comments on this?

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment