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Sep 24, 2020 03:18PM
I'm not sure if anyone can help me figure out what to do. I am 12 years post breast cancer diagnosis and have developed lymphadema in my right arm. I had received lymphadema awareness/prevention instruction years ago, but got very relaxed about it. Pretty sure the combination of a cat scratch on my hand, lifting 60 10lb cement bricks (twice) and falling on my face and hurting my arm is what triggered this. All of this happened while covid started but, luckily, I was able to track down a physical therapist who could see me (during lockdown!). At this point, I am able to get the swelling under control with compression, a pneumatic pump, and a chip sleeve at night. But, I don't want to live like this forever, so I started investigating the LVA surgery (found out about this by coming here).
I'm kind of confused by everything/all the details of my situation and was wondering if anyone had any opinions. Basically, I'm trying to weight the money versus the benefit of surgery. Last year, I had to raise my annual deductible on my BCBS health insurance to $5k (to bring premiums down). So, I was hoping to do surgery this year as I've already filled my deductible (because of the pump). But, I don't think I can get this accomplished cause Covid is delaying everything. I have a doctor in texas who did my diep surgery years ago Dr. Chrysopoulous and another doctor in their practice, Dr. Ramon Garza, does the LVA, but he's only recently started it. He is covered in-network with my insurance. There's Dr. Granzow in LA, but he is not in-network with my insurance and I just found out that any out of network doctor has to fill a 2nd deductible of $5k for benefits to kick in! And, I have tried calling Dr. Ketan Patel at USC but they never call me back!
Also, it seems Dr. Granzow wants me to go for a limphoscintagraphy first and pay $800 for an appointment just to see him. Then there is an ICG test right before the surgery. I don't see any other doctors requesting the limphoscintagraphy.
So, here's my questions (sorry for the longwinded post):
1) How did any of you get ahold of Dr Ketan Patel?
2) Do you know the difference between a limphoscintagraphy versus the ICG? Is the limphoscintagraphy necessary?
3) Does anyone know how much Dr Granzow's surgery and other fees are? They won't even give me an estimate until I pay for the $800 visit (which I think is a little rude)
4) Anyone had the procedure done by Dr Garza?
BTW travelling to TX is doable because my family lives there... I've travelled there twice for diep surgery and revision.
Thanks for listening!
10/20/2008, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-