Frequently asked questions

What is Oncoplastic Breast Surgery?

Oncoplastic Breast Surgery is a blend of oncologic breast surgery and plastic surgery techniques.
Oncologic breast surgery – an area of medicine focused on the suitable prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, with a surgical intervention for improving outcomes. 
Plastic surgery – techniques used to reshape the breast by remodelling of remaining breast tissue, advancing other tissue into a defect or reconstructing a breast using implants.

Do I need a referral from my GP?

Referral letters contain useful information about your current health issues as well as any chronic medical problems, previous operations and your current medications.
If you self-refer, your appointment may not be covered by your medical insurance.

What information is required for the consultation?

Please bring your referral along with any information relevant to your medical condition, for example, mammograms, radiology reports and pathology reports.
Please bring a list of your current medication.

Can I bring family or a support person?

Yes, this is recommended.  Often quite complex treatment decisions need to be made and a support person can help you make the right choice for you.  As well as providing moral support, they are also useful to take notes or recall information for you after the consultation. It is also a good idea to think about what questions you have and write these down before your consultation so that you feel fully informed about your diagnosis and treatment plan.

I have Private Health Insurance, how does this work?

It depends on which company you are with and your policy. Your insurance company will usually cover the cost of the initial consultation and the cost of an operation if this is required. Most insurance companies will require you to get pre-approval before covering any costs, so it is best if you contact them before your initial appointment. If you require surgery, an estimate of the cost is provided to you which can be passed onto your insurance company for approval.  I am an Affiliated Provider with Southern Cross and a nib First Choice network provider, this can help to streamline the approval process for you.

I have an injury covered by ACC, how does this work?

After you have sustained an injury, an ACC45 New Injury Claim Form is filled out by a health professional, this is usually done by your GP.  If your injury may require surgery, your GP will refer you for a specialist consultation. There is no surcharge for this consultation. Following a consultation, if you require surgery, we will lodge an application with ACC on your behalf for funding.  You will be notified by ACC directly if funding is approved.
If approved, you will be booked to have the operation at Grace Hospital, and it is covered entirely by ACC.

Where do you perform operations?

All operations that require a general anaesthetic are performed at Grace Hospital in Tauranga. If you require a local anaesthetic only, the procedure may be performed at Tauranga Specialist Centre in a procedure room.

When is payment required for surgery?

Following an operation, an invoice will be sent to you for the surgical fee. If you have health insurance you should pass this onto your provider for payment. If you are self-funded, payment is appreciated by the 20th of the following month. Payment can be made using cash, cheque, eftpos or credit card (MasterCard and Visa) at Tauranga Specialist Centre.

There will be separate invoices sent by Grace Hospital and your anaesthetist.

An estimate of the anaesthetic fee can be obtained from Monitech (07) 543 4569.

Grace Hospital requires upfront payment prior to an operation being undertaken, a cost estimate can be obtained from their website. Click here