(Show aired 2/8/14)

Often when we talk about plastic surgery, what comes to mind is cosmetic surgery where patients are making changes to improve their looks.   Some see this as  the superficial side of plastic surgery and as a result, when it’s over the top it attracts a lot of media attention.  On the more serious side,  and what is often overlooked in this discipline is also responsible for restoring  the natural form for patients that suffer from traumatic accidents, serious burns to the body or loss of a body part.

Today’s topic is specifically on BREAST RECONSTRUCTION and what women need to know.  This is an important conversation because we all know someone who has had breast cancer.

This year alone 227,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 70% of those women will be unaware of their reconstructive options.  That’s the reason behind today’s show – what these women don’t know is that since 1998,  Federal law requires health insurers (including Medicaid & Medicare) to cover breast reconstruction procedures. The law also mandated that insurers cover reconstructive procedures on the opposite breast not affected by cancer so that a woman may achieve symmetry. What was considered cosmetic is now reconstructive, as a result, women have been granted the right to expect an outcome that looks natural and beautiful.  This was a huge win for women. The  goal of Breast Reconstruction is to restore the breasts as closely as possible to normal shape,  size and appearance, and symmetry following a mastectomy, lumpectomy or other trauma.

  • It is a myth that only older women get cancer
  • Breast Cancer can strike any women anytime
  • Many Breast Cancer patients do not have family history

Click here to find out what questions to ask your Surgeon when facing the option of a mastectomy.

Types of Breast Reconstruction procedures:

  • TRAM flap 
  • Abdominal Free Flap (DIEP) (Benefit of a tummy tuck) 
  • LD Flap 
  • GAP Flap 
  • Inner thigh free flap

Types of secondary Breast Reconstruction procedures (also covered by insurance):

  • Surgery on the opposite breast
  • Implant reconstruction revisions
  • Flap revisions
  • Nipple areola reconstruction
  • Nipple areola tattooing

Special thanks to Kim who shared her story today and Dr. Rafi Bidros, lead surgeon of My Body MD.