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"DOG EARS" after bi-laterial masectomy

Pixie Dust's picture
Pixie Dust
Posts: 351
Joined: Jan 2014

I had a bi-laterial masectomy 1-23-14 because of BC and decided not to have breast reconstrution. I am very pleased with my decision. ! will soon be 60yrs. old and my daughter and husband was all for helping me to make this decision because I am at very high risk for recurrance. I had very huge breast and after surgery I was left with what they call "dog ears" under both of my armpits which hurts  and bothers me alot. Also I have very small ones inside of chest area where my cleavage was. A general surgeon was recommended to me do do the surgery. AT the moment I did not even think about a breast surgeon or plastic surgeon doing it because my mind was not working right at the time and I just wanted it done as fast as possible.  I am just wondering if anybody had these and had them removed and your insurance paid for the surgery. Thanks for reading !!!  Donna

cati0314's picture
cati0314
Posts: 114
Joined: Jun 2014

Good morning!

 

You are entitled to have whatever surgery you desire to enhance the look of your BC surgery.  Your insurance company will pay for it.  I had a radical procedure after my bilateral.  Since I had radiation they could not just put implants.   I had a deep gastric procedure whereby the plastic surgeon pulled up my abdomen to create what are called flaps.  They look like breasts.  Very long surgery.  Several surgical fixes after that.  The insurance paid for it all, less the deductible and coinsurance.  

 

Hope this helps!

Cati

Pixie Dust's picture
Pixie Dust
Posts: 351
Joined: Jan 2014

Hello Cati, thank you for your response. I am just worried insurance will not pay for this surgery because they said this surgery does not have to be approved but they will decide after surgery and looking at pictures if they will pay for it. I have never heard of this before. We have BCBS insurance and I have read on other websites that they do not pay what you think they are going to pay and you end up having thousands and thousands of dollars in medical bills. When I was taking chemo. after every chemo treatment I had to take a shot called Neulasta. The shot cost $6,500 each time I needed it. They would not pay for it, so someone got my Medicare to pay for it. I am surprised they paid anything since this is my secondary insurance and my husbands BCBS is primary. Thank you and I hope you are doing well and kicking this BC beast in the butt. HUGS, Donna

cati0314's picture
cati0314
Posts: 114
Joined: Jun 2014

Hi Betty,

 

I had to take the neulasta also.  My first chemo treament w/o neulasta left me throwing up on the hospital floor waiting for help.  The neulasta was a godsend.  I had no idea it was so expensive!  I guess I have good insurance...even though its breaking my back to pay for it.  Florida has not expanded its medicaid so I cannot get help. Life is tough with all its twists and turns.  Many hugs to you, you'll find your way through this one way or another.Best, Cati

 

 

 

 

suenosfun
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2014

I had BC 17 years ago and again a brand new one a year ago.  I have a "dog ear" from the original mastectomy.  I had no reconstruction until 5 years later when I had a tram flap.  The dog ear is unsightly and after my most recent reconstruction the plastic surgeon said he could reduce it somewhat.  I have gotten a little tired of surgery but that is probably fairly simple.  I have to "tuck it in" to bathings suits, camisoles, etc.  I believe as someone else said that your insurance will cover additional surgeries to enhance an original reconstruction with no time limits.  Good luck to you.  Kelly

 

suenosfun
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2014

Betti:  That sounds a little weird that they are telling you they will decide whether or not to pay after?  Call your insurance company, ask what your benefit is for that surgery and if it has to be precertified.  That is not right for you to have to wonder if you are going to get a big bill.  I am in health care and we are required to notify our patients the cost of any care we give them before we give it!  I don't understand why doctors and hospitals don't have to do that!  Good luck. 

Pixie Dust's picture
Pixie Dust
Posts: 351
Joined: Jan 2014

Suenosfun, thanks for your response. My husband did call the insurance company about this surgery and so did the plastic surgeon office. They told them the same thing. The doctors office said that they thought that the insurance company would pay since these are due to cancer related bi-laterial masectomy. But how can you make a decision this way, when we may be stuck with the bill. This is the first time that this has happened with our insurance. I believe they may think I am doing this for cosmetic reasons but Iam not. I do not even have any breasts, I just want relief by having these removed. These really hurt and sometimes causes irratation under my armpits. I feel like I have a tennis ball under each arm. Right side is worse because that side I had lymph nodes removed.  Suenosfun, hope you have a good day and all is going well with you. Hugs, Donna

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Donna,

I had a "dog ear" after my masectomy and kept it for 4 years.  I finally was sick of how it looked and was going to have it remove in my surgeon's office.  However, I had been developing pain in the axilla and to make a long story short, it was a tumor which I insist be removed.  My surgeon removed the "dog ear" at the same time.

I can't answer your question but I believe if the "dog ear" would have been removed in the surgeon's office, my insurance would have covered the cost.  Instead it was done in the OR which was covered.

Good luck in removing them and don't wait 4 years.

Best,

Doris

Pixie Dust's picture
Pixie Dust
Posts: 351
Joined: Jan 2014

Hello Doris, if I have this done it has to be done at the hospital and it will be done as out patient. I have to be put to sleep to have this done. Sorry you had to wait four yrs. I have waited 6 months and cannot get use to them being there and they also hurt. I cannot be measured for masectomy bras until they are removed because the bras make them hurt worse.  Glad you finally got yours removed, but one thing for sure I know I cannot wait 4 yrs. But I also do not have the money to pay for surgery if insurance does not pay either.   Hugs, Donna

RozHopkins
Posts: 529
Joined: Dec 2010

Interesting ladies.  I have spare flesh under both armpits (bilateral) which is hidden mostly Under my clothing.  The flesh juts out.  I too was very large breasted beforehand.  My plastic surgeon said he could reduce them but just can't be bothered.  I was under the impression my insurance would pay though, I would not consider this cosmetic.

Pixie Dust's picture
Pixie Dust
Posts: 351
Joined: Jan 2014

I do not think that this is considered cosmetic surgery either when they were caused by having to have a bi-laterial masectomy due to BC. Hope you are doing better with yours than I am. Hugs,  Donna

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