Ask the Doctor-What Should I Do if my Insurance Doesn’t Advise a Diep Flap?

This week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.

Question:  My doctor wants to do a DIEP FLAP but my insurance doesn’t advise it. I want my breast to look normal so could you help me? 

Answer: Your insurance company should not be in the business of recommending or not recommending medical care, although they may agree to pay or refuse to pay for certain procedures. By law, if you have had breast cancer, they must generally cover the cost of the reconstruction of your choice, whether it’s DIEP, implants, or whatever.

A lot of factors go into determining how natural your breast reconstruction can look, with perhaps the most important factor being the type of mastectomy performed. Generally speaking, nipple-sparing mastectomies have the potential to look the very best, followed by skin-sparing mastectomies.

Even non-skin-sparing mastectomies can sometimes be reconstructed with a very natural appearance, however, it just depends on a lot of things such as whether you are radiated, the quality of your scars, overall symmetry, etc.

If you would like to give us more specifics on your situation we would be happy to help you all we can, and thank you for your question!

Have a question about breast reconstruction or post-surgical you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask!