Nearly 180,000 Women Receive Health Benefits of Surgical Breast Procedures Breast Reduction, Reconstruction Procedures Increase More Than 100 Percent in Decade
For Immediate Release: April 19, 2002
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – More women than ever – 178,726 – improved their health and quality of life through breast reduction and reconstruction procedures in 2001. In the past 10 years breast reconstruction and reduction performed by plastic surgeons certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) increased 174 percent and 146 percent, respectively, reports the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) today in its 2001 statistics.
ASPS, the largest plastic surgery organization and the foremost authority on the specialty, is the only source for a decade of cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery statistics performed by plastic surgeons certified by the ABPS. ASPS has been tracking plastic surgery statistics since 1992.
“Breast reconstruction and reduction are two procedures that undeniably improve patients lives,” says ASPS President Edward Luce, MD, Cleveland. “Breast reduction has proven to alleviate pain for symptoms associated with overly large breasts, and both procedures improve the patient’s body image and quality of life by making a woman less self-conscious of a body area with which she was dissatisfied.”
Breast reconstruction surgery, the recreation of the breast for women who have undergone breast removal due to cancer or other disease, was performed on 81,089 women by board-certified plastic surgeons in 2001. In 1992, when ASPS first tracked plastic surgery statistics, only 29,607 women had breast reconstruction. The 174 percent increase in patients is due in part to the passage of the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998, which mandates insurance coverage for breast reconstruction and the alteration of the opposite breast for symmetry for women who have undergone a mastectomy.
Breast reduction, performed to relieve medical problems including back and neck pain and breathing problems, was performed on 97,637 women by board-certified plastic surgeons in 2001. This is a 146 percent increase from 1992 when 39,639 procedures were performed.
“Patients continue to be denied insurance coverage for breast reduction despite documented evidence published by ASPS that breast reduction surgery has many physical and psychological benefits,” reports Dr. Luce. “The steady increase of procedures performed can be attributed to a growing awareness of the procedure and a patient’s desire to alleviate suffering. If insurers were more lenient with breast reduction coverage even more women would be able to eliminate their pain caused from overly large breasts.”
In addition to a decade of cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery statistics representing data from ABPS-certified plastic surgeons, the ASPS publishes expanded statistics, which represent patients having procedures performed by member plastic surgeons certified by the ABPS as well as other physicians certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties-recognized boards. In depth statistics are available through the National Clearinghouse of Plastic Surgery Statistics in the Media Center of the ASPS Web site, www.plasticsurgery.org.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons is the largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world. With more than 6,000 members, the society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.