This week I am doing several reconstructive surgery procedures for breast cancer, and my patients and I have discussed several important issues about breast cancer that I wanted to share with my web audience.
1. It can happen to anyone
Breast cancer is incredibly common, affecting more than 1 in 8 American women over the course of their lives. This means that you, a friend, or family member is likely to develop breast cancer at some point in life.
2. It doesn't have to ruin your looks
Breast cancer does not just mean chopping off your breasts and losing your femininity. Breast cancer reconstruction can restore a beautiful, curvy, feminine appearance to your body and breasts. Technology has improved tremendously in recent years, and the results are better than ever.
3. You are ENTITLED to reconstructive surgery
The US Government passed the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) to MANDATE that insurance companies cover the cost of reconstructing a woman's breasts after a cancer diagnosis. This is not considered a frivolous luxury-- it is an essential part of your health care and treatment.
4. You can have reconstructive surgery anytime you want
Breast reconstruction can be done right away after a mastectomy, or months, years, or decades later. It is still covered by insurance companies.
5. Even if you have already had reconstructive surgery, you can have your appearance improved
If you are not satisfied with the look, feel, symmetry, size, or contour of your breasts EVEN AFTER reconstructive surgery, your insurance company is required to cover the cost of subsequent procedures to improve your appearance.
6. You can have surgery on both breasts, even if only one has cancer
One important part of the WHCRA is the mandate for insurers to pay for surgery on both breasts, even if only one has cancer. This includes the possibility of a breast lift or breast implant on the non-cancer side. This is helpful because sometimes surgery on both sides is needed to get the most symmetrical results.
7. You deserve to look and feel great
Reconstructive breast surgery after cancer is not vain, self-centered, or unnecessary. Many women find that it is the best way to restore their body and peace of mind after surviving cancer.
8. I am committed to helping you achieve your goals
As a woman, wife, and mother-- and as a plastic surgeon who has seen a number of patients, friends, and family members through breast cancer surgery and reconstruction-- I am passionate about this cause. I pride myself on helping you achieve beautiful, natural looking results.
If you would like to make an appointment, please contact my office at 212.452.2400 or info@LaraDevganMD.com. If you would like to discuss your situation with me personally, please email me at my personal email address, Lara@LaraDevganMD.com.