A teenage girl who waited more than two years for a breast reduction

A Quebec teenager who suffers from severe back pain says she waited nearly two years for life-changing breast reduction surgery.

• Also read: More than 36,000 patients are waiting for orthopedic surgery in Quebec

Her family doctor is said to have filed for surgery in February 2021. 20 months later, she still doesn’t know when she will be able to see a surgeon.

A teenager who wears size H cups doesn’t understand why the delays are so long, she who has to take several pain meds every day.

“He’s in pain, it doesn’t look good. It’s getting worse. The drugs they gave her, she can’t live on it at her age,” complains Nathalie Tremblay, the young woman’s mother.

Since his condition has a significant impact on his health, the operation will be paid for by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ). But the wait is endless for a teenager.

“I have trouble walking. It’s really painful. It’s been unbearable for several weeks now. I went to the emergency room two days in a row,” says Bianca. “I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t get out of bed. It’s like I have a barred back.”

His condition would prevent him from many activities. In particular, she says she had to be excused from PE class.

“I’m 16 years old and I can hardly do anything. I can’t go out with my friends because it hurts so much. It’s hard for me to work,” he says.

Apart from the physical problems, his condition would cause him a lot of anxiety.

“…I’m a bit bothered by the size of my breasts. I have trouble getting dressed, I’m afraid to talk to people. I’m afraid that’s exactly what you see at home,” explains Bianca. “Mentally it’s hard. I still feel isolated. I don’t enjoy social life anymore, it’s hard for me to walk.

“It is certain that she is also demoralized. She can’t do all the activities she used to do. She used to like to walk and swim a lot…”, adds the mother.

Bianca Tremblay even fears the impact on her future if she does not undergo the desired procedure soon.

“I wanted to do DEP in hairdressing next year, but can I deal with back pain?” asks a young woman who would like her case to be considered urgent.

Contacted by TVA Nouvelles, the CHU de Québec-Université Laval confirms that “since the COVID-19 pandemic, it is facing more delays in operations. The field of plastic surgery is no exception to this reality and must also deal with a difficult labor law context”.

CHU adds that “the wait for this type of surgery (breast reduction) is over a year at this point. […] but may vary depending on the case and prioritization of the file. We understand the impact these delays can have on our patients. CHU is implementing everything to speed up care and improve access to operations. There is also a committee that monitors patients on our lists and concrete steps are being taken to gradually reduce the number of patients waiting more than a year.

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