Author Topic: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)  (Read 3277 times)

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PandaValentine

Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« on: April 02, 2011, 05:28:52 pm »
Warning: Contains many questions and is considerably long.  >:-)

I've been saving my money for quite some time now for top surgery but I'm still not quite there. I am basically trying to work out all the fees and how to spend my money wisely so I don't have to save as much, and can get my surgery sooner

I have chosen my surgeon as Dr. Garramone because honestly I can't think of anyone who does top surgery better than him!

The surgery itself is pretty cheap compared to some surgeons. Now without coverage, does anyone know the average amount for prescription pain meds? I get an 80% coverage right now, which puts the meds up around eighty-hundred dollars without coverage. This surgery price also doesn't include any of those prescription garments that I've seen some people get after surgery, those binders... I have no idea of the cost there. My pre op labs will be done by my doctor, and thankfully because of my age I do not need a mammogram!

Another question is about deposits. Does the deposit come off the overall fees, or is it an additional fee? I know whenever I pay deposits, like when I got my tattoo, it came out of the actual fee for the tattoo, just non-refundable so if I changed my mind I was shit out of luck. Anyone know?

The flight there is fairly cheap, however I believe I have to fly down twice, once for a consultation but I'm not to sure, I've never gotten surgery before. The round trip is very cheap, so if I do need to go twice it's not that big of a deal.

Heres where things are a little more tricky. My original idea was to stay in a hotel, to be more specific the Hampton Inn. I was like awesome, a pool, gym and golf course, and I get to use NONE of it! :P Anyways the price is well suited to the beauty of the hotel, but it's a lot to me. I have no idea who's planning to go with me, which may just be my mum since she would at least offer to pay half but I have no idea if she'll be up for watching me have this surgery. If not I have no idea what to do. I've never stayed in a motel, and I have no idea the costs or condition they keep those places in, but every time I see them in US movies it creeps me out because it's apparent the states has problem with roaches, I have never seen a roach in my entire life in Canada, even in the dirtiest of places! I just have a problem where if I see bugs I can't sleep because I imagine they will crawl on me.

So anyways this question I guess is basically for those in the Florida area or who have seen Dr. Garramone, I was wondering if they knew of any places, or where they stayed. I've tried looking up motels but had no luck.

Also one final thing. Cabs...or do you call them Taxi's? I don't know, but anyway that would be my only way of transportation at the time. I suck at directions and no way am I getting on a bus after surgery. I know of someone who took the subway after his and I was thinking he must be insane, but that's because he lived fairly close to his surgeon so only spent his stay in the hospital and then went home. I could make it to this surgeon easily as well, in 30 minutes but I don't really like his work, nothing compares to Garramone. Anyways, distance wise, how much do Taxi's/Cabs cost? Or does anyone know how I can find out? The hotel is only 8 minutes away from the Hospital. Of course that is if I get this hotel and don't decide to risky my bug phobia and go to some scary motel! Also there is the trip from the airport to there, who know how long that takes.

Anyways clearing this up would be a lot of help because right now the money I need to save is a lot compared to what I make. I do however have this awesome overdraft thing with my account, I think it's a $5,000 dollar limit, I don't want to use it, so I'm trying to avoid the temptation because paying it off can be a bitch! I plan to do all this WITHOUT a credit card. I refuse to pay for one. :P There are only a few fees the way I have chosen. Plus Dr. G thankfully accepts checks!

Do hotels allow you to pay with bank cards? Wouldn't know, never been to one. However I know there will be fees for that, which does suck but not as much as I would have to pay to keep a credit card and not even be able to have enough on it to cover all this stuff, since I got no credit!

Anything else that I should consider costs for? I'm not sure about food, I'm a raw vegan so basically I'd just be buying fruits and stuff like that, so it shouldn't be so expensive, no room service! I don't really want to go there and spend money on souvenirs though I'm always tempted. Then again I think some surgery scars are a grand souvenir!

Sorry this is so incredibly long. I like to be thorough. XD
 

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Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2011, 06:15:45 pm »
Aw, Panda, roaches aren't so bad, and the Florida ones can double as a taxi, saving you some money! Just kidding (kinda). You certainly are ambitious. Good luck with your surgery, hugs, Tracey
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 12:05:16 pm by Tracey »

Offline Lee

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Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2011, 06:40:59 pm »
I'm hoping to go to Garramone too.  I've yet to see anything by him that doesn't look great, and I'm sure yours will come out well too.  :)

I'd assume that the deposit would be applied to the overall cost of surgery, but you could call or email the office to double check. 

Motels really aren't all that bad.  The few I've stayed in have been clean and bug free (Heck, I've never seen a cockroach anywhere in the US.), but I'm sure there is a wide range.  You could search for reviews or ratings online to double check the ones nearby.

http://www.taxifarefinder.com/ This site lets you calculate the cab fare.

I'm not sure how paying with a Canadian bank card would work.  I have paid for hotels with a credit card without extra fees being charged.  You could call either your bank or the hotel to ask.
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Offline Logan1986

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Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2011, 06:52:12 pm »
I didn't go to Dr G but thought i'd try and help out anyway.

1. My out of pocket cost for the pills pre surgery was around $100 from Costco without insurance. Other than those, everything was covered under the initial cost.

2. My deposit came off the overall fee, I think this is standard for most docs but i'm not 100% sure.

3. As far as making two trips, i'd definitely check with the doctor on that one. Some might be okay with doing it over the phone and some might require two different trips. You might even find they'll take your deposit and then just do the consult a day or two before the actual surgery.

4. For choosing a motel/hotel you can use great sites like Yelp. It's a website made up entirely of reviews made by people who have stayed/eaten/been to the place you are wondering about.

5. Taxi's can be kind of expensive. I took one last month and it was $2.50 just to get in the thing and then something like another $2 per mile. It ended up costing me $15.00 for a five to ten minute ride.

6. Hotels do accept bank/debit cards


PandaValentine

Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2011, 08:14:54 pm »
Thanks guys, actually that helped out quite a bit.

Yeah I think it does come out of the surgery cost, now that I think about it more, I guess that will be something to ask, and if not I'll just go over on my overdraft 500 bucks. Not that big of a deal I guess.

Yeah I hope it can be done over the phone, because it is money I could use for taxi's.

I think I just found the perfect hotel, cheap but pretty good reviews, plus it's close to the actual Hospital so it makes traveling easier, and apparently the money from the airport to hotel by Taxi is only 40 bucks, so that's pretty good.

:O They don't? They accept cash though right? I guess if I really need it for hotels I'll get a prepaid credit card, but there is no way I'm keeping it after that... ugh I really hate credit cards. I suppose I could just ask for my mums in advance and give her the money up front...that might be a better idea.

Well anyways I think I have reduced it at least some so far! :)

Offline Carson

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Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2011, 08:16:36 pm »
I just went to Garramone last month so I can answer most of these.

Prescriptions: You will be prescribed antibiotics (with no refill) and pain medicine (with one refill). The predominant grocery store in the area around Garramone's office (Publix) has a free oral antibiotics program. So your antibiotic will be free. I have insurance and I paid I think around 8 dollars for my pain medicine.

Deposit: Yes the deposit is nonrefundable but is applied to the total cost of the surgery.

Flight/Consultation: You do not have to fly down for a consultation if you don't want to. He does phone consults and you can email him pictures.

Hotel: I recommend staying in at least a decent place because you are basically going to be bedridden there all week. It should be tolerable. I stayed at Vacation Village at Bonaventure. Its about 20 minutes from both his office and the surgery center. My family is part of a disney time share so I paid nothing because I used whatever points they had on our account.

Taxi: You aren't allowed to take a taxi from the surgery center and you have to someone with you for the 24 hours afterwards so you'll have to figure out something else. My mom and sister both went down and stayed with me all week.

Additional costs: Publix has a great selection of vegan, vegetarian, and organic food, or at least I thought so. Also don't forget about scar treatment, Dr. Garramone's office recommends you start as soon as your incisions are all closed up which is about 2 weeks post-op. You can buy it from them or when you get home. I just waited until I got home.
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PandaValentine

Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2011, 09:29:54 pm »
Thanks I really appreciate this.

So how long do you spend in the surgery center? I might just have to make things work with my mum then or this is going to be quite difficult. So why can't you take a taxi from there?


Offline Carson

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Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2011, 09:31:56 pm »
So how long do you spend in the surgery center? I might just have to make things work with my mum then or this is going to be quite difficult. So why can't you take a taxi from there?

It is an outpatient procedure so about 2.5 hours for surgery and then however long it takes you to wake up. Took me almost 3 hours haha but I have trouble with anesthesia. And you can't take a taxi alone because they won't release you from the surgery center unless there is someone with you.
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PandaValentine

Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2011, 09:55:10 pm »
Oh, I see. Thanks again. :)

RabbitsOfTheWorldUnite

Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2011, 12:35:36 am »
I'm hoping to go to Garramone too.  I've yet to see anything by him that doesn't look great, and I'm sure yours will come out well too.  :)

I'd assume that the deposit would be applied to the overall cost of surgery, but you could call or email the office to double check. 

Motels really aren't all that bad.  The few I've stayed in have been clean and bug free (Heck, I've never seen a cockroach anywhere in the US.), but I'm sure there is a wide range.  You could search for reviews or ratings online to double check the ones nearby.

http://www.taxifarefinder.com/ This site lets you calculate the cab fare.

I'm not sure how paying with a Canadian bank card would work.  I have paid for hotels with a credit card without extra fees being charged.  You could call either your bank or the hotel to ask.

Seriously, you've never seen a roach in this country? Take me to where you stay, please!!
I used to live in west palm beach (south florida) and you just can't help but to deal with the roaches. But now, being in NC, the ticks scare me more than roaches ever did. A roach will never bite you but when a tick does, it latches on!

PandaValentine

Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2011, 04:41:52 am »
Thanks. I'll try checking out the combined flight and hotel, see what options I got but I kind of like the hotel I found right now since it's only eight minutes from the surgery center.

Ew ticks? Seriously? The only problems I've ever had to deal with are fleas (thankfully none this year) and a centipede or two when it starts raining a lot. Don't really see the big ones as much anymore though. Oh and ants, freaking little twats!

You know what, this makes me happy to live in a colder climate, less bug problems. The worst I've had are drunk wasps. Didn't come out for some reason this summer. :| Maybe they lost half their wasp cousins to drunk flying...

RabbitsOfTheWorldUnite

Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2011, 09:31:08 am »
EEEEEEEEEEEKK! Don't remind me about the centipedes and millipedes at my parents' place! Good god, they're often 3 or 4 inches long!!!

Offline Andy

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Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2011, 10:45:25 am »
To add to the ICK and EEEW! factors, what's this I keep hearing about bedbugs in hotels now??!! :-\
"People come and go so quickly here!"

RabbitsOfTheWorldUnite

Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2011, 10:53:58 am »
To add to the ICK and EEEW! factors, what's this I keep hearing about bedbugs in hotels now??!! :-\
I hear that's primarily a problem in ny these days. Should be perfectly safe in florida.

And another florida insect warning: beware of the fire ants! Stay off the grass when barefoot and you should be just fine. Better yet, only walk barefooted when at the beach.

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Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2011, 07:07:47 pm »
Carson I have a question about Garramone.  How long after surgery did you go for the follow-up/to get drains removed?



Offline Carson

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Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2011, 07:57:37 pm »
Carson I have a question about Garramone.  How long after surgery did you go for the follow-up/to get drains removed?

A week. I had surgery thursday morning and went to get the drains out the following wednesday.
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PandaValentine

Re: Top Surgery Advice (With Money)
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2011, 10:11:15 pm »
Does anyone happen to know if one week after surgery is the usual time it takes for the follow up?

If so that lowers my costs by half. Or is that just if things go really well or something?

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