Last week, I set up consultations with two surgeons, Dr. Mosser in San Francisco and Dr. Alter in Beverly Hills, that are covered by my insurance. After my initial contacts with both of their offices, I already had a better feeling about Dr. Mosser than I did Dr. Alter. Dr. Mosser’s patient manager, Amy, was very friendly and inviting (as much as you can be over the phone), whereas the person who took calls for Dr. Alter (I don’t even know her name) was very cold-feeling which didn’t instill very much trust in me. Additionally, one of my friends went to Dr. Mosser for his top surgery, so when I told Amy how I heard about him, I mentioned my friend’s name and they waived the consultation fee for me. I scheduled my virtual consultation for Wednesday with Dr. Mosser and an in-office visit with Dr. Alter. I was already planning on driving through L.A. to go visit my family over the weekend, so it wasn’t too much of a hassle to stop by the office.
For the consultation Dr. Mosser (San Francisco), I had to email him photos of a couple of different angles (front, sides, and diagonals) of my chest. On Wednesday, Amy called me and asked me various questions about my medical history. After a few questions (this portion only lasted 7 minutes), I was transferred to Dr. Mosser. He was very thorough and friendly. He told me what my options were for top surgery. I knew already that I’d only realistically be able to have a bilateral mastectomy. He then went over his procedures, the facilities, and other details. He asked a question that I wasn’t quite expecting, but he said I answered perfectly. The question was what did I expect to get out of top surgery. Basically, I said that I want to be able to get up in the morning, put on a t-shirt and go. I don’t want to have to worry about binding. And I’d like to be able to go swimming.
My consultation with Dr. Alter was set for Friday afternoon, but after my consultation with Dr. Mosser, I didn’t really want to go for the consultation with Dr. Alter. Not to mention it would have been a hassle to find a dog sitter for Harry since I was bringing him with me to my family’s house. I called Thursday morning to cancel my appointment. There was no answer, so I left a message. It’s nearly a week later, and I never heard back from Dr. Alter’s office. It’s probably for the best. The initial vibe wasn’t great, and I’d rather be completely comfortable with my surgeon and his office. I’ve never had any major procedures or hospital stays. I barely ever get sick and when I do it’s more of an annoyance than anything serious. So, this is new territory for me.
Overall, I’m pretty excited. Dr. Mosser’s schedule is free in June, which is when I’ll be free from grad school and obligations. It’s the perfect time since I’ll have time to recover before starting a new job (whatever that may be). I’m planning on taking a trip to Northern California in December, so I’ll take that opportunity to visit my friend in Berkeley and stop by Dr. Mosser’s office to meet him and his staff in person.
I’m glad that I’ve taken this next step. Now, it’s just playing the waiting game and hopefully building up my chest muscles!