Surgeons support women’s right to choose

Newly released statistics compiled by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show more than 79,000 breast reconstruction procedures were performed in 2008, a 39 percent increase compared to 2007.

Yet according to a recent report, almost 70 percent of women who are eligible for the procedure are not told about reconstructive options.

The majority of women are not aware that there is a Federal law, the Womens Rights Law of 1998, which requires insurance companies to cover breast reconstruction following mastectomy or partial removal of the breast, according to the report.

“At the time of diagnosis, a patient should be immediately referred to a full team of physicians — including a plastic surgeon — so she can determine which, if any reconstruction option is best for her,” said Dr. Laurence Arnold of Asheville.

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