Waiting list for surgery

Hi ladies
I have been on the waiting list for a DIEP reconstruction since October 2012. I was told at the time that the waiting list was 7/8 months long but this week I have been told I could be waiting up to a year! Devastated is an understatement!
I’m just curious to know how long people in different parts of the country have waited.
Please could you tell me how long you waited and what part of the country you live in.

Hi Debs,

I’m in the South West. Should have been having an immediate reconstruction, but changed hospital and the plastic surgeon couldn’t find the theatre time. Have now been told I need to wait six months after Mx, then request an appointment to discuss going on his waiting list (currently 8-10 months). Gutted is somewhat of an understatement, but I’m hoping my surgeon can find someone able to do it more quickly.

Any chance you could let them know you are available at short notice should they have a cancellation? (If you could do it).

I hope you manage to get your reconstruction without having to wait too much longer.

Fingers crossed for you,


I live in stourbridge in the West midlands and I am treated at a hospital in Dudley. My ps put me on his list in Dec. I phoned his secretary recently who told me it is a 6 to 7 month waiting from being put on list. So possibly June. I had my mx last March and finished rads at the end of Sept. I’m due to have a pedicled tram flap but the longer I wait, the more I’m going off the idea!
Gaynor xx

Hi Debs,
I had my mx in June 2011 followed by six treatments of chemo end of August, no radiotherapy needed, from Jan 2012 appts were with oncologist, follow ups with bc doctors and when a year was up from op finally put forward for reconstruction. Saw PS in August 2012, six weeks given for next appt to consider what op I wanted to go for and if it was best for me, diep was decided, told I could put on at least half a stone would be helpful. no holding back over Christmas, great…anyway appt date finally arrived for April 9th, it seems to have been a long wait, so glad it’s now only a few weeks, so in all from the op it’s been 22 months, but from last chemo treatment 17 months, I so hope you get things moving quicker for your appt, and like Margaret said, if possible, you’re available for any cancellation. I live in south Kent near Dartford, and I’m going to East Grinstead, Queen Victoria Hosp…good luck Brenda x

Hi Debs - another Deb here!
I was put on the waiting list for a pediculed tram flap (similar to a diep) on December 17th. I am in the Preston (North West) area. My operation is next Friday (March 22nd) - my hospital (Chorley) has a 3 month waiting list. I have had to put on weight to have this operation and am looking forward to getting fit and healthy again afterwards.

How have you managed to put on weight, Deb? I don’t have enough fat available for a matching reconstruction, and if I’m going to have to wait for my operation it would be useful to grow a bit more. I’m just scared I’d end up with visceral fat, and nothing useable for the recon.

Hi Buzzy
I am from preston but had my mastectomy in blackpool. I was referred to plastic surgeon in May2011. It was decided to do a tram flap and an ld flap in same operation and I was put on waiting list to have it done in preston in Aug 2011. I eventually had operation in Feb 2012.
Unfortunately the reconstruction broke down and had to have ld reconstruction cut away in April 2012. I was told I could have a tissue expander in November but had to wait until 26th March. That date got cancelled and was brought forward to tomorrow. I got phone call this afternoon cancelling the operation and I don’t know when it’ll be now.
I’m devastated its been cancelled and feel really let down by the NHs
Hope you don’t have to wait too long
Chris x

How did I put on weight?? It wasn’t difficult. I had already put on weight whilst going through chemotherapy (I blame the steroids) I was so lacking in energy that the weight just added on at the rate of about a 1lb a month. Then having to take Letrozole added to the problem. Doesn’t make any difference if I try to diet - I don’t lose any weight.

Reconstruction is booked for this Friday (22 March) I had quite a bad anxiety attack today after a rotten night’s sleep following bad news yesterday about a friend who was found dead in her flat. She was younger than me and had MS. So bad news + not much sleep + anxious about Friday = rotten day today. I am feeling a little bit better now and staying up a little bit later in the hope that I will get to sleep quickly when I go to bed.

I am aware that my op might get cancelled at the last minute - but hope not. Things will get better in the end, and if they don’t, then it’s not the end (quote from a film)

Will keep everything crossed that your operation goes ahead on Friday, as planned, Deb. Cancellation never seems to be mentioned when discussing the pros and cons of immediate vs delayed reconstruction. It’s yet another problem we could well do without. And I am so sorry to hear about your friend’s death. I wish I could think of something to write to make you feel better, but I don’t have the words. Sometimes life stinks, but we usually manage to find a way of coping with it in the end. I hope you find yours before too long. In the meantime, please accept a virtual hug.

I hope you get a new date really quickly, Chris. Must be so frustrating when you are all set for your operation, and then it’s cancelled. Or that you find the waiting list you’re on has suddenly grown, and the wait is going to be much more than you were originally told. I hope not to find out for myself, but fear that I will. Hope you don’t have to wait as long as they have said, Debs.

Worry seems to have the opposite effect on me. I lost a stone between diagnosis and starting chemo, and then another half over the course of the chemo itself. I’m quite happy with my weight, which is still a stone more than I weighed in my early thirties and comes within the “healthy weight” category, but would like to have a bit more stomach fat so they can rebuild my breast. Funny to think it’s less than a year since I was wondering how on earth I would be able to get rid of my “muffin top” and now it seems to be much too small!

Thanks for the vitual hug sdfmeg - I do feel much better today after a solid 6 hours sleep last night. Although I am still saddened by the death of my friend I believe that her suffering is now over and her soul is free.

I have rung my BCN today - I feel like I am coming down with a cold and wanted to check if they would still go ahead with my operation on Friday if I am not 100% - she has told me to come in as arranged and the anaesthatist will assess how I am. She did say that I would have to be quite poorly for them to cancel the operation.

Hope everyone who is waiting for a date gets one soon.

I will be starting a bit of a diary in here starting on Thursday night (night before op) so that people who are having a similar operation to me can see how I got on.

Good Luck for your reconstruction tomorrow super trouper, hope all goes well and wishing you a speedy recovery.
Chris x

Hi Buzzy,
I was really lucky with my diep. I was told that I couldn’t have diep until at least a year after radio finished. I asked for a referral to plastics just after rads had finished and was put on the waiting list in April 2012 so that by the time I got to the top of the list, the year would be up. I actually finished rad’s mid Sept 2011 and had my diep Oct 2012. My friend who finished her rads at the same time as me had her diep 3 weeks ago and we were tretins at the same hospital. I’m in S London/Surrey. Hope you get your op soon xxxx

I posted earlier that I was likely to have my op in June. Phoned ps secretary this week to get an idea of how the waiting list was going. Due to shortages of beds and therefore cancellations and a months annual leave, it’s now looking like Sept!!! Slowly going off the idea, can’t loose the weight I’ve put on as I need the fat for my tram, no point looking for another teaching job to start sept, having been initially told it would have been March, I foolishly thought I’d be starting to recover and be up and running to get on with the rest of my life come Sept. Pxxd off doesn’t come into it!!
Gaynor xx

Hi Gaynor,

Not sure if it’s possible/worth trying, but if you could be ready for surgery at short notice it might be worth telling them. I do realise these things are difficult, but ops quite often seem to be cancelled at the last minute because of various reasons including coughs and colds.

Good luck,