As noted in Facts About Breast Implants, more than 23,000 breast implant removal procedures were reported in 2013. With so much debate about their safety, here’s what you can do to ensure women are fully informed about their options and are able to remove implants when their health is at risk.
What Can You Do?
Educate yourself and others.
Organize a screening of “Absolutely Safe,” the acclaimed documentary through a local college or community group. OBOS will provide a free copy, and Executive Director Judy Norsigian and film director Carol Ciancutti-Leyva may be available to host a post-film discussion.
In “Absolutely Safe,” plastic surgeon Dr. Edward Melmed and occupational health physician Dr. Michael Harbut maintain that breast implants remain flawed and potentially dangerous. On the other hand, renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Franklin Rose, as well as most plastic surgeons, strongly believe that breast implants have been repeatedly proven as safe and effective.
The goal of “Absolutely Safe” is to bring the controversy into focus, leaving viewers more informed and inspired to ask questions about implant safety, implant regulation, the rising popularity of implants, and the reasons why so many women make this choice.
Report health insurance denials of coverage.
OBOS is working with the National Center for Health Research in several key states to make sure that health insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act will cover treatment and breast implant removal when it is medically necessary.
Under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), health insurance companies can’t deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, and they can’t discriminate against women. But in several states, insurance companies are planning to deny coverage for any complications related to breast augmentation, even if treatment is medically necessary — such as for removal of leaking breast implants, painful capsular contracture, or ALCL, a rare type of lymphoma that can be caused by breast implants.
We believe that denying coverage in these instances would be illegal.
If you, or anyone you know, had a health insurance policy that refused to pay for medically necessary treatment related to breast implant problems, please contact: info [AT] breastimplantinfo.org
We also want to hear from women whose insurance policy paid for removal for implants put in for augmentation (not after mastectomy). We are especially concerned about women in Texas, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Illinois, Nevada and Connecticut, but hearing from anyone in the United States would be of interest.
We know that many women have had this experience, but we need to hear from the women themselves (or their family members). Experiences that occurred in 2012, 2013, or 2014 are especially welcome.