Plastic surgery on non-reconstructed chest
Had a bilateral mastectomy 8 years ago. Just wondering if anyone has had any surgery to correct unevenness to their unreconstructed chest any if it was covered by insurance. I had chemo and radiation and was left with bulges, dog ears on the sides, and uneven chest.
I too had a bilateral mastectomy in 2011. One of my implants has migrated under my armpit. I cannot wear a bra and look ridiculous. I haven’t explored another surgery yet. But, I’ve been told that reconstruction is covered by insurance if you have had breast cancer. Even if it is a second surgery.
Even if you do not have reconstruction your insurance should cover “scar revision” to clean up the scars and take care of dog ears. I’ve had two surgeries last year to do exactly that. The first surgery they leveled out the breast area scars. Then the second surgery they took care of the dog ears under my arms. See a plastic surgeon. Good luck!
Thank you all for posting. I have my appointment tomorrow with a plastic surgeon to see what he can do and if it would be covered. I read somewhere that insurance wouldn’t cover it if it was just for cosmetic purposes, so I’ll see what he says. I have Medicare with no supplemental insurance. I also have lymphedema in my right arm and wear a compression sleeve with a strap that goes across my chest. The metal buckle sits in the ditch of my scar and digs into a bulge that was left in my noncancerous side. Also, my dog ears stick out if I have a sleeveless blouse on. I feel like a train wreck! I really appreciate your comments. Will update you soon. Thank you!!!
All of this may not have been necessary if the use of contrast MRI for breast cancer screening had not been kept secret from you (or lied about) as it was kept from me. I learned shocking secrets about how our health care system has gone to work for the insurance industry and betrays women regarding what is the most likely health issue to happen to us. I wrote it into a story posted at
http://mammogramsanddcis.blogspot.com (mammograms and dcis)
Reading it will not be a waste of your time.
I had my bilateral surgery in 1996 and at that time I chose the saline implants They were fine for awhile but started to get hard and we’re uncomfortable, I followed the surgeon s advise and went to silicone which felt more natural. In 2004 my husband became a victim of bladder cancer and after talking care of I noticed a lump on the right implant which turned out to be infection,. I ended up with a tummy tuck and new breast. My insurance paid for all, I wish I had gone with the natural tissue plants from the beginning. So yes your insurance will cover reconstruction.
@Post #6: Your post is not directly related to the breast reconstruction question at hand, but I feel the need to post that not all mammography screening misses early cancer. 3D Mammography technology is relatively new on the scene and is detecting breast cancers at a much earlier stage, especially in those with dense breast tissue (like me). I’m 47, no family history, and 3D mammogram detected Stage 1 IDC (ER/PR+, HER2-, T1cN0M0) this past fall. Not all insurances cover it, but patients are given the option to pay the difference (which was $75 at my screening center). I opted for a single simple mastectomy (nipple sparing since location of tumor was far away from areola) despite that I have documented macrocalcifications in the non-cancerous breast. I’m confident that alternating between 3D mammography and breast MRI will detect future concerns in my other breast, if any, early enough to be “curable.” I highly ENCOURAGE 3D MAMMOGRAPHY to all sisters, moms and daughters!!
As for the initial reconstruction after initial mastectomy question: I’d be surprised for it to not be covered. Hope you find out the same at your appointment.