The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) of 1998 mandates that insurance coverage be provided in circumstances for women with breast cancer who chose to have breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. Group health plans, health insurance companies, and HMO’s that cover medical and surgical benefits for mastectomy must also provide coverage for the following:
- Breast reconstruction of the breast on which the mastectomy was performed
- Breast reconstruction of the other breast so both breasts are symmetrical
- Cost of the breast implants
- Complications of mastectomy including lymphedema
Insurance benefits for mastectomy and breast reconstruction may have a yearly deductible and coinsurance (a form of insurance in which health costs are insured for less than the full amount); the patient is responsible for the difference.
Dr. Lamb accepts breast reconstruction patients upon referral by Kansas City Cancer Centers and the general surgeons on the medical staff at Centerpoint Medical Center only. We also accept prior cosmetic patients into the practice for breast reconstruction procedures.
Your procedure for breast reconstruction will be largely dictated by health concerns and the appearance and size of the unaffected breast.
The most common modalities of breast reconstruction with Dr. Lamb’s practice are insertion of a permanent implant in a submuscular location and latissumus dorso by the cutaneous flap reconstruction with placement of a permanent implant. Both of these procedures can be performed either as an immediate reconstructive procedure upon referral of the general surgeons on staff at Centerpoint Medical Center of Independence or as a delayed procedure.
A procedure for symmetry is generally performed approximately 4 months following the reconstruction of the breast mound. Additional procedures such as nipple button reconstruction are generally performed a few months after the procedure for symmetry to allow for the greatest degree of precision in the reconstruction sequence.
Patients seeking breast reconstruction ideally should be nondiabetic, nonsmokers, and have a body mass index (BMI) in the mid-20’s.
If you need more information, please feel free to call the office at 816-795-5262.