Consultation, and then...?

I am now one step closer to having the body I have always imagined. I had my consultation for top surgery today. I showed up at the office, filled out the paperwork and waited to see the surgeon. Understand I went in there with a pretty good idea about what to expect. I have done a lot of research into exactly what top surgery entails, what I am likely to experience, and what other surgeons have their patients do after surgery for a successful recovery. I am a little concerned that some of what I was expecting is not part of this surgeons procedure but I am hoping that my psychiatrist referred me to this surgeon because he trusts this guy knows what he's doing.

When I got in to see him, (I had one of the first appointments of the day) he went over what he would do and basically gave me a quick overview of the double-incision free nipple graft procedure. He told me what to expect more or less and then asked me to step into the small examination room so he could take a look at my chest. While he cleaned his glasses, I stripped out of my shirt and binder and the took one look and basically showed me exactly where the incisions would go. He also explained that he would have to scrape away much of the tissue underlying my nipples to keep them from protruding too much and would trim them and reposition them to appear more male in size and location. Then he told me to get dressed and meet him back in his office.

I struggled back into my binder and t shirt while he waited in the next room and tried to remember everything I wanted to ask.  First, I asked if it was possible to reposition the nipples without a free graft, that I was hoping to retain some sensation and could the nipple be repositioned with a stalk attached. He said no, not unless I wanted to have a breast reduction leaving behind enough breast tissue that I would end up with an A cup or small B cup...uh no thanks. Next I asked him if I would have to wear a compression vest after surgery, again he said no. I was quite concerned about that statement but figured I could wear one anyhow if I wanted what could he do? Every single other surgeon makes their patients wear a compression vest to help with swelling, fluid build up and pain and to help manage scarring. He says I don't need one. Hmm, really? By then I was pretty flustered because things were not going as I anticipated and I totally forgot to ask if I could see some examples of his work. I wanted to see the results of his other patients.

Then I got the news. The details about what I really wanted: when, where, how much? I had to pay the consultation fee out of my own pocket because I don't have AB Health Care Coverage which also implies the possibility of other challenges ahead. Of course there is no way I can afford to pay for the surgery out of my own pocket (it's $12,500) so I am now at the mercy of the government of BC to decide whether or not they will pay for the procedure outside of the province. Before I can book the surgery I need to get a letter from BC Health Insurance stating that they will pay for it.... How long do you suppose that might take??? And do you think they will be cooperative?

The plan is to get all the proper permissions and letters in place this month if at all possible and book the surgery for some time before the end of this year. I am hoping that I can get it done sometime in late October or November so I can be back to normal and nearly 100% for the start of the new year. I expect to be off work for 2 weeks and back to the gym after a month. Lifting will take longer and within three months I expect life to be back to a new normal and better than ever.

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