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Surgery with Sue Thistlewaite

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Surgery with Sue Thistlewaite
« on: January 26, 2009, 12:20:35 AM »
Two weeks ago I had surgery with Sue Thistlewaite, and I'd like to share my experiences so others can benefit from them. To make a long story short for those who can't be bothered reading this whole thing, I'm extremely happy with the result, two thumbs up, five stars, I seriously can't praise her enough.

Anyway, for the long haul I'll go back to the beginning. I've been bothered by the problem since I was 12, and I'm 18 now. It had been my intention since I was about 16 to get the surgery done as soon as I could afford it, and back then It looked like it would cost about $6000 out of pocket and I really didn't have the guts to talk to my parents about it. As it turned out, once I had managed to stash away enough for the operation and did tell them about it, they offered to pay for it. I know I'm extremely lucky to have supportive parents, but I urge anyone who can to talk to they're parents, and don't make the same mistake I did.

Anyway, if you walk down Erin street, where Sue's practice is located, the first thing you'll notice is that its a little hot bed of private practices. What got me a bit though was that there were not one, but three "gynecologists" in the area, in fact theres a gynecologist in the room directly below Sue's, (I accidentally went up to the wrong floor once :p). To be honest before that I thought that there were very few surgeons in Australia who were able to preform the operation, after that I got the feeling that it was quite common and that a lot of money was being made. I live in Sydney, so having gone all the way to Melbourne only to find out that there are plenty of people willing to call themselves gynecologists came as a bit of a shock to me. None the less, I had chosen Sue because she was one of the few surgeons who didn't have a single black mark next to her name, and there was immense positive feedback on these boards.

A bit about Sue, the first impression is that she is very direct and to the point. My consultation went for about 15 minutes, bang bang bang down the check list and I was out of there. None the less she is a very nice and is willing to have a bit of a laugh. One thing that she did say was that she had been doing this for 25 years, and over all those years she only ever had one complication. She also, and I'm not sure if this is for all operations or just man boobs, said that she would do any corrections for free if I wasn't happy with the result, to date she said no one has taken her up on that offer. The last thing to say about Sue is that she is a plastic surgeon, a re-constructive surgeon, and a hand surgeon. One of the things I thought might be a bit iffy, and I have no way of backing this up, with the gynecologists is that they focus purely on a single operation, so one is lead to believe. The operation itself involves up to 3 things, 1 removal of the glands, 2 liposuction, 3 a fat flap is folded back over to cover up any concavities in the chest wall left by the glands. Sue is obviously a very experienced plastic surgeon in general, and I think she has had a lot of practice at all of these. I didn't require liposuction, I'm a skinny bastard.

So how did the op go? Well her anesthetist is just as direct as Sue, we had a wonderful conversation about how the funny chemicals work, and the number of people who don't wake up. This didn't bother me, I thought I may as well provide it for completeness. After I woke, there was no pain what so ever, and i was able to leave later that day. The only thing that really hurt was the removal of the tape around the drainage tubes, if you go ahead with the surgery you can experience this too. I also had some really tight bandages around my chest, but I was able to walk around and go out to dinner no problems. My only difficulty was sitting up, I couldn't use my upper abs or push down with my hands, so I had to do a weird sit up to get up. I also couldn't sleep on my side without making my self a mold out of pillows, but after that it was all good. After I got the bandages off 2 days later, I was very pleased with what Sue had done. About two weeks on, there is what looks nothing more than a paper cut, I had no swelling or any of that. The only downside is the vest, which is extremely annoying. I'm supposed to wear it 24/7 for another 2 days, and after that another 2 weeks during the day. After its gone, I'm going to the beach.

I honestly can't recommend Sue enough, she did a brilliant job.

As for costs, it was a lot cheaper than I thought it would be, and a lot cheaper than what some of the people who had it done in Sydney paid.

consultation $150 - half of which could be claimed from medicare
sue's fee $3000 - $300 rebate from medicare
anesthetist's fee $650 - not sure how much I can claim on private health, but I suspect most of it
hospital feet $1800 - all of which I could claim from private health
annoying vest $100 - from device technologies

So all up, about $3500

I'm with HBF, a WA based health fund. I'm also on the highest table, which is perhaps why so much was covered.

Photos, Im sorry that ive still got the tape on, It hurts like an absolute b*tch to take it off, and I'd only have to put it back on again, but you get the picture.

Anyone considering it, if it seriously bothers you, go get it done, and do it sooner than later. You only have so many prime years, and I'm relatively young and I'm still planning my catchup.

Linkback: https://www.gynecomastia.org/smf/index.php?topic=16723.0

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Offline s90

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Re: Surgery with Sue Thistlewaite
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2009, 05:34:12 AM »
lol. you dont know what a gynecologist is, do you.

Re: Surgery with Sue Thistlewaite
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2009, 08:47:14 AM »
hahahahhahaha, i just looked it up, man i feel stupid.

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Offline Ryuuk

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Re: Surgery with Sue Thistlewaite
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 01:18:08 PM »
hahahahhahaha, i just looked it up, man i feel stupid.

I lol'ed pretty hard.

Gyne is just basically a suffix meaning ladyparts dude.

Congrats on a successful surgery

Re: Surgery with Sue Thistlewaite
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2009, 04:07:33 AM »
Thanks for the info mate, and thanks for the clear, concise and grammatical way in which your story was laid out. I'm twenty, pretty fit and I've been teased about this condition for many years, especially at school, so I can understand what you have been through. I'm also looking at Sue and after this post, I'm going to schedule a consult ASAP.

Time to start living. Thank You.

Re: Surgery with Sue Thistlewaite
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2009, 08:47:24 AM »
Hey, congrats on getting the surgery done. Looks like she's done a great job.

I'm 17 (almost 18) and have been contemplating this surgery for a couple of years now. It's very encouraging to see someone around my own age (and from my city) going through it all too. I've been struggling with it since I was about 12 now too and basically I have been trying to hide it since then (wearing heavy shirts / jackets, avoiding swimming, mysteriously becoming ill if I can't get out of going to the beach, I am so sick of it).
But it's really been in the last few months that I've begun to hope I can do something about it this year. I don't want to have to waste any more of my youth dealing with this crap because I feel like I've missed out on so many opportunities already - I'm sure most people on here can relate.

I've heard of Sue from these forums and from what I've seen she seems like one of the best (if not THE best) in Australia.

A few questions though..
-You say you live in Sydney? How long did you stay in Melbourne for your initial consultation?
-Also, how long did it take between your initial consultation with Sue and the time when you got your operation done?
-How long did you have to stay down in Melbourne after you got your operation done? Do you have to go back in for check-ups or whatever?
-How did you tell your parents? (I am terrified of what they will think... I can just imagine my mum laughing in my face or telling me I need to go exercise or something, I'm actually quite skinny but I don't imagine she'd understand that it can't be cured by pushups!!... I have no idea what to say to her)

Sorry for so many questions, you don't have to answer them if you don't want to.
I've been trying to consider whether I want my surgery in Melbourne with Sue or in Sydney - i'm mostly worried about flights and accommodation fees adding significantly to the costs of the surgery :-\
EDIT: also don't think my family has private health insurance, this is sure to add more to surgery costs. :-[

Thanks

Re: Surgery with Sue Thistlewaite
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2009, 02:05:37 AM »
Pics look good, im also going with sue. Can you give any updates or new pics?

Re: Surgery with Sue Thistlewaite
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2009, 02:42:19 AM »
Hi sayuke, thanks for posting your experience here!

I'd like to echo Liandoolb's questions ... can you give a rough timeline for how long you had to spend in Melbourne for the surgery and post-surgery and how you have arranged long term followups etc?

I am also in Sydney and and seriously considering having surgery in Melbourne with Dr. Thistlewaite but would like to have a better idea of the logistics of interstate surgery...

Cheers,
  Dave

Re: Surgery with Sue Thistlewaite
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2009, 11:16:43 AM »
Hi, I would also like the answers to Liandoolb's questions, as I'm also from Sydney seriously considering surgery with Sue.

Cheers

Re: Surgery with Sue Thistlewaite
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2009, 10:35:49 AM »
I'd like to echo Liandoolb's questions ... can you give a rough timeline for how long you had to spend in Melbourne for the surgery and post-surgery and how you have arranged long term followups etc?

Hi guys.  I had surgery a couple of weeks ago with Sue, so I might be able to answer your questions.

So basically the surgery is a daytime thing (which can help with insurance cover, by the way - HCF for example doesn't have excess on claims if it's daytime only).  You arrive early morning (7-8am or so) and then leave in the afternoon/evening depending on the day's schedule (Sue will perform a number of operations on the day).  She keeps you there with the drains in to check for any bleeding, then by the end of the day she can tell if everything is fine, and the drains can be removed.  I've heard with some other surgeons they leave the drains in for a few days which sounds a lot worse.

You need someone to take you away from the hospital (though maybe they can organise for someone to take you if you ask/pay). Taxi/public transport is no good because you have had general anaesthetic and you may be impaired.

I had a post op appointment 2 days after the surgery (surgery wednesday, appointment friday) to have bandages removed and some plaster applied to nipple area only.  Then 9 days after the surgery I had one layer of stitches removed, then about 2 weeks after surgery I have another appointment (I assume to remove the last set of stitches).  I'm not sure about after that, but I will find out and post here.

Everyone's posts here were very helpful for me to learn about the surgery and ultimately enabled me to go ahead with it!  If I can answer any questions, please let me know.


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