Breast reconstruction surgery involves the surgical correction of deformities or asymmetries of your breasts after either complete mastectomy or partial mastectomy or lumpectomy. A 1998 Federal law mandates that your health insurance, which covers the cancer treatment, also cover the surgeries which can help you achieve better symmetry. This means that if you have had a lumpectomy (partial mastectomy) and radiation, and as a result your breasts are not even, then your insurance is mandated to cover the breast lift, breast reduction or even breast augmentation including fat grafting to help your breasts look more similar.
This is also true if you have had a complete mastectomy. The reconstructive efforts can start at the same time as your initial cancer treatment. This is called immediate reconstruction. While there are some reconstructive options which limit your surgeries to one or two. It is more usual to have a staged reconstruction involving 3-4 surgeries over the course of 9-12 months. This is more likely if you need your nipple reconstructed. Sometimes however, there can be good reasons to delay reconstruction. This is especially true if you have many other health issues which increase your risk of serious complications.
Knowledge is power...know your options about Breast Reconstruction before you start your Breast Cancer treatment.
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