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mammogram necessary & time limit on drains?

  • slbxo33
  • Buffalo, NY
  • 2 years ago

hi all, i've been reading as much as i can before my breast reduction and i'm noticing some inconsistencies between my surgeon's plan and the norm. he's not terribly friendly, so i'd like to hear more from you all before i question him. first, he didn't schedule me for a mammogram, and everyone i know who's gotten a reduction had to have a mammogram first. i'm only 24 so could that be why he skipped it? also, i'm so confused on the drain situation. from the posts on here, i see drains stay in for 1-3 days on average. of the 3 people i know who got this procedure done, none of them had drains at all. my surgeon wants to leave drains in me for 8 days. that seems insanely long in comparison. i know drains/no drains is kind of surgeon preference, but has anyone ever had them in THAT long?! like i mentioned before, my surgeon has a pretty horrid bedside manner, but i hear from other doctors that he does great work. i'm trying to decide if i can put up with his attitude in exchange for nice results, but now these inconsistencies are making me question his methods. he's been in practice for 30+ years. however, when i ask him a question (i.e. how long on the drains?) he snaps back: "does that really matter?" or "why do you need to know?" claiming that i should trust his judgment as a surgeon, and not get myself worried about the process. help!

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slbxo

Also another thought is that we are always told not to go with a builder that can start straight away. If they are good they will be busy. So maybe waiting til November is a good thing.
H
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I feel your pain! Good for you for firing him, he sounds like a peice of work. I also had a very bad experience about 7 years ago. I went to see a ps and as I was waiting to see him another patient ran out in tears and he was laughing outloud, he was still laughing as he came into my room. He never even looked at by chest ( I didnt even take off my winter coat) but I got approved for the surgery and was told we would just look at me the morning of the surgery. Needless to say I had saw red flags and called it off. Its so improtant for people to know they have every right to ask questions and to shop around. I have a wonderful ps who answered every question I had
with patience.
Good luck with the new ps, Im sure your gut instinct will lead you to the right one!
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I'm glad you're finding a new PS. As to your other questions: I had drains for 3 days, although a lot of doctors don't use them. I didn't have much fluid in the bulbs either. I got a mammogram beforehand, but I was 41 years old. The tissue removed during the surgery was sent to a lab to be checked for any cancerous tissue as a routine matter. Six months after my surgery my doctor wants me to get another mammogram for my new baseline. Good luck with your insurance. You can ask the office of your former PS to send your complete medical records to you, and you can see what he told the insurance company. This can be helpful for your new surgeon.
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I had a mammogram but I'm 43. I also had drains for 6 days....because I had my surgery Wed and Monday was a holiday. Drains are not a big deal, except you can't shower with drains. You are required to record your drainage several times a day and when you have a certain amount (I forgot) per day, they can be removed. I reached that amount Sat, but I waited until Tues. Also, drain removal was no big deal to me....it didn't hurt.

I definitely agree you should consult several doctors. No question is stupid and he should be willing to answer and make you feel confortable.
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thanks in part to the encouragement here i did end up "firing" that surgeon. i have a consultation with a surgeon with a great reputation, but unfortunately i'll have to wait til november til he can get me in for a consult. i really didn't want to start the process all over again, especially since my insurance had approved me and i was all ready to go with no cost to me. my biggest fear is that this second time around my insurance will reject me. i really want to get this done, which is probably why i put up with so much from the rude surgeon, but i realized that this is going to have a HUGE impact on my mind and body for the rest of my life so i really shouldn't rush it and chance getting subpar results or care.
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I'm so glad to hear that you are going to be talking to someone else! When I was approved for my surgery I was given 6 months to have it done. Did your company give a time frame? My approval letter also had a phone number I could call with any questions or concerns. I wonder if you could call your company and explain that you are going to be using a different doctor and see if your approval will cover him as well, without having to wait any longer after your consultation. Not sure if it will work, but maybe worth checking in to.
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i did check with the insurance company first. the approval is only good for that surgeon, because of the requirement about however much they need to remove. for insurance to cover it, they need to agree with the doctors plan-- which angers me more about the first surgeon because he told my insurance company how much tissue he'd be removing yet refused to tell me his vision.
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Oh I think it is such a good thing you gave that first surgeon the boot!
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This doctor sounds really rude. Would you continue to work with a mechanic who snaps at you and refuses to answer your questions? This is your body we're talking about, something even more precious than a car! You should look around your area and see if you can find a more communicative doctor. Every patient deserves to be treated with respect.
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I had no drains at all, my PS said she did not believe that they were worth the added risk of infection and that most 'liquid' should drain naturally. As you say it is a personal preference. In terms of a mammogram, I did not have one either. I am 46 and I have only had one, and that was 6 years ago. My PS knows that but did not ask to see them or anything else. (my cousin on the other hand was 48 and she did have a mammogram so again it must be a PS choice.)
I dont think that any of these inconsistencies matter. But what does matter is your relationship with the consultant. Do not go with someone you cannot talk to.
I have had no problems thus far, but did get worried last week and had no qualms what so ever in calling my PS office and asking to talk to her/her team. You have to have this peace of mind and it seems to me that you would not have it with the PS you are talking about.
Lots of PS have good reputations and do good work, my recommendation is find another one that you are happy with. It is stressful enough without having this added anxiety.
H
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Yes I was required to have a mammogram prior to my BR.  Most of this is based on doctor preference and medical history.  

My recommendation is to go and have 2-3 more consultations with other doctors.  75% of this is you liking and being comfortable with the doctor.  There are other good doctors out there so find one that makes you feel good and not on edge.  

You should not be snapped at:(  You are paying for this and it's your choice who does it.  

 

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I guess the way I would look at it is that you are paying him for his service and if you can't get an appropriate response then I don't know if it would be worth it. Would you return to a hairdresser, restaurant, any place if you were treated rudely for a service you were paying for? Do you have other options for surgeons? I know when I questioned my doctor about why he does an inverted T incision rather than a lollipop he was very honest and just said that he knew the younger surgeons liked to do them but he had tried a couple and they just didn't work for him. I much preferred his honesty than just telling me that he would do whatever I wanted even though he wasn't comfortable with the technique or berating my questions.
I have been told my drains will stay in for 24 hours. But the amount of tissue being removed may have something to do with the amount of time they will be in. Are you having a very large reduction? And most everything I have read does say to have a mammogram. I had one last November and my doctor is not requiring me to get another one, however I was able to provide him with reports from the last three years.
So I guess I would ask him your questions and if he snaps at you "does it matter, why do you need to know?" I would firmly state, "Because I am paying you to cut in to my body and I have a right to know what to expect during the procedure and recovery." And if he still won't treat you well, you could stand up and walk right out and find someone else.
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