The Costs and Benefits of Breast Reconstructive Surgery

When it comes to battling breast cancer, much of our attention focuses on defeating the disease. Every woman’s treatment plan varies, and while not every woman opts for a mastectomy or a double mastectomy, more women are turning to the complete removal of their breasts as a preventive measure—which means: more women are considering the option of breast reconstruction.

But with breast reconstruction comes a whole slew of questions concerning the emotional, physical, and financial costs and benefits of the procedure. And while for a large number of women, reconstruction is a vital step toward feeling like themselves again, there is less readily available information about surgery as a whole.

The AiRS Foundation’s role:

That’s where the AiRS Foundation comes in. We work to educate patients and healthcare professionals about the importance of breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, as well as explain the procedures and costs involved. Looking to learn more about your reconstruction options? Here’s a brief overview of some of the costs and benefits involved.

How much will it cost?

The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) was signed into law on October 21, 1998. This law provides mandatory reconstruction surgery coverage for women with respect to medical and surgical benefits after having a mastectomy, providing that the health plan covers mastectomies.

According to this law, while medical insurance should cover breast reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy, some women may find their insurance coverage is limited and only pays for part of the procedure, and they don’t have sufficient resources to cover it. Others find out that reconstruction surgery is not covered at all.

Because cost is always a consideration in every major surgery, even one as vital as this, it’s important to know the price of the procedure. Prices vary widely depending on the geographic location and the surgeon’s experience.

What’s included?

The cost of breast reconstruction may include the following:

  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Hospital or surgical facility costs
  • Anesthesia fees
  • Prescriptions for medication
  • Post-surgery garments
  • Medical tests and x-rays

How we can help!

Fortunately, whether your insurance covers only a part of the procedure or none at all, the AiRS Foundation is here to help you. Our primary goal is to ensure that every woman who’s battled breast cancer, received a mastectomy, and wants reconstruction is given that opportunity. We offer grants based on your financial needs to make sure you have the chance to heal fully. Interested? All it takes is a simple application! Learn more about the application procedure here.

Why should I get breast reconstruction?

Ultimately, the decision to get breast reconstruction is solely up to the patient. Some patients prefer to forego the procedure, just knowing they are cancer-free. Others, however, want reconstruction to help restore their self esteem. Many of these women talk about “feeling like themselves again” after reconstruction.

The decision to get reconstruction surgery is a big one. It’s important to take your time with it, talk with your doctor about your options, and feel confident about your choice. When you do, remember, the AiRS Foundation is here to help you in any way we can.