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Options for Breast Reconstruction Surgery

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You will find that once you have decided to go ahead with breast reconstruction surgery that you have three options available to you. You can apply for surgery through the NHS, private health care, or clinics abroad. The NHS will of course cover the cost of surgery, and private clinics or surgery abroad will require you to cover the cost. This is an important decision you need to make, and you should ensure that your research thoroughly into both the clinic and the medical team, you should also consider what aftercare you will be provided with once the surgery is completed.

What do I need to meet?

Due to the nature of surgery you will of course need to be fit and suitable to have the operation performed, as it will be under general anaesthetic. You may be required to lose weight or give up smoking. You will receive assistance with both of these from health professionals who will draw up realistic plans with you so that you can achieve specific results. You should also be aware that prior to surgery you will need to attend regular checkups for things such as checking your blood pressure as well as blood testing.

Breast reconstruction surgery on the NHS

You will of course be dealing with the NHS if you are having, or have undergone cancer treatment. This therefore opens up an option for you to have breast reconstruction surgery covered by the NHS. Unlike other types of surgeries you will not have to meet numerous guidelines prior to surgery, but you may need to meet specific guidelines which will deem you fit for surgery. You may also seek NHS advice on having reconstruction surgery if you have lost a breast due to an injury.  You will have the option of immediate reconstruction surgery or delayed reconstruction surgery. Immediate surgery is completed after you mastectomy and will only require one operation and one hospital stay, the recovery period will as a result be longer. If however you are still undergoing cancer treatment you may have to wait to have a delayed reconstruction, this will be done when you are fit and ready for surgery and will require you to undergo a separate operation, some individuals may also choose to wait following a mastectomy just to ensure they are doing the correct thing for them. You may find that if you are looking to have your operation through the NHS then there may be a certain waiting period, this will differ from region to region and you can ask your doctor, or medical team at the clinic which will be dealing with your surgery their estimated wait times.

Private breast reconstruction surgery

Many individuals will consider private surgery, for many reasons; if you are one of these people you will of course still need to be fit for surgery and will need to show that you are mentally ready for this type of surgery, as it is considered major surgery. Private clinics will differ around the country and will offer different prices, some clinics run special promotions on their procedures and you may need to research thoroughly to get the best price for you with the best service and quality provided. Prices range from around £3,500 and can cost up to £5,500.  Most private clinics will offer consultations for free, which means you can attend as many as you wish and this will give you the opportunity to discuss your expectations and to ask as many questions as possible. Ensure that you spend as much time as possible finding someone who you are comfortable with, as well as being comfortable with their medical team.

Abroad Considering surgery abroad is often much more appealing as the price is much lower than surgery in the UK. You should however consider that although the price of the procedure may be low, you may have to pay for accommodation or travel, perhaps even both. Many clinics will offer you all inclusive packages with everything included, whereas others will only offer you the procedure.  Clinics abroad can usually offer a saving of between 50 and 80%. With regards to a consultation for surgery abroad it is usually chargeable at around £100, this will be done when a representative of the clinic visits the UK this is usually on a weekly basis as they often visit to deal with aftercare or prospective patients. You may also request information via telephone or email. If you are looking into surgery abroad you should ensure that you research thoroughly into what aftercare you will receive, as well as looking into whether any further surgery or checkups are covered. People are much more wary of surgery abroad, however if you put in an adequate amount of effort into the research as well as attending a consultation this will ensure your safety throughout.

Paying for the surgery

If you choose to pay for surgery abroad or privately you may have a number of options available to you. With private care you will find that you have a number of options available to you, clinics sometimes offer a finance option to pay off the cost of surgery over a period of time, the shorter you pay it in the less interest you will incur, some clinics even offer no interest for a specific time period. You may also pay up front for the surgery if you have the money saved or if you have applied for a bank loan, many banks will offer you loans with specific rates of interest and time periods to repay the money back. If you are looking at surgery abroad you will usually be required to pay the money for surgery around 28 days prior to entering the country, this would mean that you may either pay the money upfront from savings, or that you will need to apply for a bank loan. With surgery abroad you may also need to pay the cost of travel and accommodation, the travel expenses will usually be paid for up front, and the accommodation can either be paid for prior to arrival or on the day that you are checking out. Research into these areas so that you understand how much you will need to pay as well as considering how you will afford the cost.

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