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Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne

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Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne
« on: April 27, 2014, 12:25:49 AM »
This is intended to help anyone that may have questions. Feel free to ask me anything.

Background
I've always been fairly skinny and lean, but at 16/17 I started getting puffy nipples. I'm now 28 and still fairly skinny but I have slight man boobs from the gyno which gives me pretty big insecurities and something I think about every day. My case is very slight compared to others, but it's enough to bother me enough to spend a lot of money fixing it.

Before and after photos will come.

Initial Consultation
I saw my Dr, and he gave me a referral (required to get medicare rebate). I chose Sue based on the information read on these forums. I made an appointment with her which took two months because of the waiting list due to her popularity. She said she performs 2-3 gyno surgeries each week.

She was very professional, knowledgable, experienced, and understanding. It was a quick 25-30 min consultation where she examined me and informed me of the surgery procedure, what to expect,  recovery. I'll just be getting the tissue removed and no lipo necessary.

I felt very relaxed and not very nervous at all, it's a pleasant experience.

I was then sent the costing and further instructions. I was booked in for surgery for 2 weeks after the consultation.

Costs
Initial consultation: $200 ($75 medicare rebate)
Sue's surgery fee: $3,500 ($1,750 per breast)
Anasthesia fee: $1,060.00 (possible partial medicare rebate)
Hospital fees:
 - Bed fee (day): $460.00
 - Theatre Fee: $2,127.00
 - Compression socks: $20.00
Compression vest: $100 (possible partial medicare rebate)

Total: A$7,467
Medicare rebate so far: $75

So it's pretty pricey, but can you put a price on happiness and removed anxiety?

You have to have the compression vest fitted at the purchase location, which is a lingerie shop. It was a little daunting walking in there haha as it's a womans shop and it's just lingerie everywhere, but you'll get over it.

Surgery
I've due to have this done pretty soon so I'll update once it's done. I'm quite calm about the whole thing since I've had other surgery before, probably excited mostly. It'll take about 1.5 hours.

I know that I have to be at the hospital about 8am and can't eat/drink about 6 hours prior to that and I can expect to be there most of the day so I'll be taking a book but I hear there's a TV there too. You're required to have someone pick you up, you cannot leave via taxi.

No one knows I'm getting this surgery. I told my parents a very vague description of the surgery without mentioning specifics and I plan on telling others it's a benign tumour removal only if they need to know.

Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/smf/index.php?topic=29267.0

Re: Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2014, 03:23:41 AM »
Hey mate good luck!

I have my consult on monday , need to grab my referral this week and see how it all goes. I will be putting the surgery off for a month or so so as to save up etc.. Crazy this is all happening.

I know it sounds silly, but did they really make you buy your compress vest from a lingerie store? I always thought they would fit it to you post surgery (as most wake up with the vest on) what exactly did she say to you in regards to this?

Thanks and hope all goes well, keep in touch!

Re: Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2014, 06:47:52 AM »
Yip, I was given a referral letter by Dr. Sue so I assume it's standard practice. It's not like I knew anyone in the store so it was all good.


Re: Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2014, 06:00:47 AM »
Had surgery today.

It went great, I'm home now wearing the compression garment over the bandages and experiencing no pain at all. I'll write up more details tomorrow cause I'm pretty hungry. Really happy I went through with this.

Re: Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2014, 09:53:00 PM »
Good on ya dude, how is it feeling the day after?

I just got my doc referral for my consult this monday - Like you I am feeling more excited than nervous.
On a side note, was it easy to secure an op time for 2 weeks after the consult? I only ask because I have waited 2 months just for the consult so assumed it would take much longer.

Anyway, good luck with the healing process post some pics and any info as although noone really comments on these forums - many people read/lurk.

Re: Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2014, 01:15:15 AM »
As far as I know, the surgery is always pretty quickly after the initial consult. Mine was 2 weeks, I've read on here a couple others took 2 weeks and the nurse mentioned it too.

Alright, a run down of surgery day:

8.20am - Arrive at hospital, go to room, get vitals checked and meet various nurses. Mine was at Linley Clinic which feels like a hotel rather than a hospital - really nice, and the nurses were great. You feel really comfortable the whole day, cannot speak higher of all the staff.

Have to wash chest in the sink then get dressed in hospital gears and put compression socks on. Sue comes in and marks on your chest the incision area and the stuff that will be cut out.

I just chilled in my room reading or listening to music until the surgery room was available.


11am - roughly around this time I walked to the theatre room and lay on the bed. Chatted with the nurses while they hooked me up, this was nothing new for me so I was pretty relaxed. Then they injected me with the good stuff, which makes you feel fucking amazing for a couple seconds until it knocks you out. 

12.30ish - I think I woke up around  this time in the recovery room with a nurse next to me. You stay in here for 30 - 60 minutes and feel really sleepy and disorientated initially.  Didnt have any pain, just a tight pressure on my chest (they've put my compression garment on by this stage). Nurse next to me checking my vitals. There's also two tubes in my chest draining any excess blood into two bottles.

1.30pm - rolled back into my room. Transfer to my chair and recline back and doze off to sleep for a while.

3pm - Nurse visits occasionally to check on me, Sue comes in briefly too. Feel pretty numb with a little discomfort but no pain. Feel good.  Finally get to eat for the first time today and I inhale 4 sandwiches. Watch some TV for a couple hours and get regular checks by the super friendly nurses.

5.30pm - Time for the tubes to come out. It's a weird feeling but doesn't hurt and is over in a second.

6pm  - Housemate comes to pick me up. I feel normal, just tight around the chest.

The whole day goes very fast and experience very little, if any, pain. Couldn't have asked for better nurses or experience.


Sleeping at night was the worst part. I found it pretty hard sleeping on my back because I sleep on my front usually.




Today - Day 1 post-op
Feel good. The local anesthetic has completely worn off so I can feel the wounds a tiny bit, but doesnt really bother me. I went in and saw Sue, and her nurse removed the dressing and tape. Let me tell you this boys, the tape hurts. Think 40 year old Virgin chest waxing scene haha. I had trimmed my chest hair but it still hurt coming off the skin. She does it quickly so the pain is over fast. darn me it hurt haha.

Got to see my chest for the first time and it was really flat, was so happy to see that. It was a bit bruised and swollen which is normal, but I can already notice the difference so I'm really happy.

I've got another checkup next week, and getting stiches out in about a week.



Any questions just ask

Re: Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2014, 08:37:36 PM »
Day 2 post op
thumbness has gone away and getting more feeling/sensitivity back in my chest. There's a couple sore moments if I overreach for something or use my arms too much to push off the bed or couch, but I feel pretty good otherwise. Am mobile, walking to the supermarket, preparing dinner etc.

Had first shower in 2 days which was amazing.

Tried on a couple t-shirts that I know looked terrible with my gyno, and was pleasantly surprised to see they now look great on my flat chest. That was really satisfying. Really happy with my decision and haven't had one regret or thought about the money side of it at all.

Re: Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2014, 08:04:53 AM »
1 week post-op
Feeling good. Had my dressing changed a couple days ago. The garment is getting slightly itchy now, sleeping is a little easier but still not the greatest. Movement has improved, I haven't felt any of the tugging sensation that others have experienced when reaching overhead. Although I'm still a little reserved and haven't extended my arms fully above me yet.

So good to see the nipples flat and not puffy at all. Still some bruising and swelling which I expect to be there for another 2-3 weeks.

Re: Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2014, 07:41:50 AM »
I had my consult last week and everything is set.. had to wait 6 weeks for the nearest time urgh..
How is it all going man? I am like you, way more excited than nervous - just want to get this over and done with!

Re: Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2014, 12:12:26 AM »
I had my consult last week and everything is set.. had to wait 6 weeks for the nearest time urgh..
How is it all going man? I am like you, way more excited than nervous - just want to get this over and done with!
Awesome man, you're not gonna regret it.

It's going great. Got the stitches out today, everything is healing nicely. Still a bit of bruising, numbness and swelling but I'm already much happier with how my chest looks in shirts. I can't wait to go buy some new clothes based on how they look, and not their effectiveness of covering gyno.

I feel pretty normal, have got used to the compression vest, sleeping has improved, no pain, doing normal things (minus gym, running or any exercise at all).

Re: Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2014, 08:27:43 PM »
Currently approaching 5 week post-op mark.

- Can't see scars at all (have been using bio-oil on them ever since I had stitches removed)
- Chest is flat (left side still a little bigger - apparently normal because it's operated on first thus exposed for longer and more time for scar tissue to form)
- Can still feel hard scar tissue beneath nipples.
- Nipples have gone a little bit puffy - again normal and expected. Should cool down again soon.
- Vest has been removed
- Can resume doing all normal things again

Those 4-5 weeks flew by

Re: Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2014, 12:48:30 AM »
Hey dude,

Awesome to hear how it has gone, to be honest you have been a big help in making the decision as well as being an 'ice breaker' to what to expect.
I have surgery tomor so just enjoying my last day adjusting my shirt and feeling like a dickhead haha.

I went to the lingerie store yesterday (wow, that was unnecessarily awkward) but now everything is in order.

Just 2 questions really - both vest related.
I got the NVS vest which i expected to be a full torso singlet like thing but ended up being a bulky half torso vest - did you have the same thing? And did you have trouble concealing it for the duration of your healing?

Once again thanks for answering these questions and updating your page, I am sure more people than just me appreciate it

Re: Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2014, 05:23:00 AM »
Hey man, sorry about the delay.

That lingerie store visit is a joke aye haha. Got some weird looks.

I had the bulky harlf torso vest too....luckily it's winter so you can wear hoodies etc., and I wore dark/black shirts as much as possible.  The bits that stuck out the most was the zip at the top, and the velcro bits over the shoulder. I don't know if anyone noticed them, but no one ever said anything.

Hope you're healing up well.



I'm just over 2 months post-op now and I don't even notice my chest anymore. It feels weird to think I used to constantly pinch my nipples or put tape over my nipples. There's still scar tissue and the nipples can look or feel a little odd at times, but healing can take up to 6 months so I'm not worrying. Been back at the gym and doing everything normal.

Re: Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2014, 06:16:57 AM »
Oh hey dude! Thanks heaps for the reply,

Yea man that lingerie store was awkward as shit, the lady was a bit of a goose and kind of didn't figure that I just wanted to go in and run out haha, ah well - like pulling a band aid right?

It is really funny actually -  I was so worried about getting the bandage taken off, like seriously g-ing myself up.. and .. It didn't hurt! I have a hairy chest like most but for some reason absolutely nothing! So weird. I actually found the drains the worst, I just hated that burning feeling under the skin, just grossed me out.

For the first two weeks absolutely no issue, swelling was there but I just cruised through and had way more mobility than I thought. I am into the 3rd week and I am getting the scar tissue/swelling blues. I am putting on t-shirts and it is like I am back at square 1. I have read this is completely normal so I am waiting for my check up with Sue on Friday - but still annoying, did you have such an issue?

Anyway I cannot wait to get back into the gym man, I guess I can after this check up (3.5) weeks out, but I am also not trying to get my hopes out - just need to get rid of this bloody gut!

Re: Surgery with Dr. Sue Thistlethwaite, Melbourne
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2014, 11:51:45 PM »
Oh hey dude! Thanks heaps for the reply,

Yea man that lingerie store was awkward as shit, the lady was a bit of a goose and kind of didn't figure that I just wanted to go in and run out haha, ah well - like pulling a band aid right?

It is really funny actually -  I was so worried about getting the bandage taken off, like seriously g-ing myself up.. and .. It didn't hurt! I have a hairy chest like most but for some reason absolutely nothing! So weird. I actually found the drains the worst, I just hated that burning feeling under the skin, just grossed me out.

For the first two weeks absolutely no issue, swelling was there but I just cruised through and had way more mobility than I thought. I am into the 3rd week and I am getting the scar tissue/swelling blues. I am putting on t-shirts and it is like I am back at square 1. I have read this is completely normal so I am waiting for my check up with Sue on Friday - but still annoying, did you have such an issue?

Anyway I cannot wait to get back into the gym man, I guess I can after this check up (3.5) weeks out, but I am also not trying to get my hopes out - just need to get rid of this bloody gut!




I went through the same thing as you.... feeling back to square one. I felt like nothing had changed. This was an illogical feeling on my behalf because it's not possible your chest has grown the gyno back. It's all in your mind.

I put it down to a couple things:
1. Coming out of surgery you notice the difference straight away....it's clear as day, and you're elated. After a few weeks your brain adjusts to the changes and now sees this as "normal", and you're not "wow-ed" every time...you're used to it. Much like buying a new phone; for the first couple of weeks you think it's like discovering the cure to cancer, then the novelty wears off and it just becomes your phone.

Hypothetically speaking, imagine if you woke up and your chest went back to what it was before surgery. I guarantee you'd notice instantly. And cry.

2. Wearing the compression vest keeps your chest as flat as humanly possible. After a few weeks once you've taken it off, coupled with the fact you've probably been inactive and chances are put on a little weight, PLUS any swelling, there's a very good chance your chest appears bigger.


The little thing I've been doing to remind myself my chest has gotten a lot flatter is trying to grab the gyno as I've done a thousand times in the past. I can't....because it doesn't exist. My nipple is flat against my chest.

My expectations were probably unrealistic. I was expecting this perfectly flat, chiseled chest. Being realistic though, my body fat is higher than I'd like it to be, and I haven't bench pressed in months. I have to put in the hard yards now to mould it into what I want..... and I know I can do that without having weird lumps of gyno under my nipples, and puffy nipples.

Your mind will try to play tricks on you like this. Just remind yourself of the facts. Follow Sue's instructions and be patient with the healing process. I'm still healing at 2 months, but I feel great.