1979 was my first Diagnoses of Breast Cancer. The cancer was in the final stages with all Lymph nodes affected by cancer cells! A radical mastectomy followed. I lost the use of my right arm and had many months of treatment and 18months of very potent Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy, I have been affected with Lymphoedema ever since, (nearly forty years.)
1980 the second diagnosis resulted in a Lumpectomy.
1984 again a third diagnoses in the other breast, this resulted in a modified Mastectomy followed by a type of Chemotherapy tablet for many months!
The Lymphodema has steadily become worse, resulting in my arm being very heavy and painful. In the past couple of years I Have had several infections in the arm that has required hospital treatment and IV antibiotics, these infection are always very painful, debilitating and dangerous.
After a recent visit to Macquarie University Hospital, Lymphedema Clinic in Sydney, I have been informed of the latest new treatments available, such as lymphedema mapping, Lymph Node transfer, Lymphovenos Anastomosis and Liposuction, this has resulted in a decision that Liposuction would be the best option for me. The amount of fluid in my arm was 1807.0ml, which is almost 2 litres!!
At the assessment clinic the attending Doctors were… Dr Helen Mackie – Rehabilitation & Lymphoedema specialist. Dr Thomas Lam--Plastic & reconstructive surgeon (liposuction surgery) Dr Quan Ngo—Plastic & reconstructive surgeon (lymph node transfer (LNT) & lymphovenous anastomosis (LVA surgery) Associate Professor Hiroo Suami—senior researcher, in lymphology, who performs assessment with indocyanine green fluoroscopy (ICG) Louise Koelmeyer—Occupational therapist, lymphoedema therapist and ALERT program manager, who performs garment assessment and measurement. Asha Heydon-White – Physiotherapist and lymphoedema therapist, assists with ICG lymphography and/or garment assessment and measurement.
Estimated Consultation and Surgery Costs. · Hospital stay is $1,190.00 per day—estimated days in hospital 4 to 7 days ( four days) $7184 .00. (7days) $10,754.00 · Theatre costs $2,194.00 · Liposuction surgery costs $6,460 .00 (I will get a Medicare rebate of $473.85) · Anaesthesia cost. $2,100.00 (I will get a Medicare rebate of $240.15) · In patient consult Rehab Specialist costs $56.70 a session??? · Post-surgical garments for arm (BSM Medical) approx. $1,250.00 · Pharmacy costs while in Hospital $200 · MRI costs $250 · After the surgery I have to travel to Sydney for the next 12 months to attend all follow up visits at the MQ Health Lymphoedema Clinic, which entails airfares, accommodation, inner-city travel.