Without help from your insurance plan, having surgery can be expensive! Luckily, it’s possible to find qualified plastic surgeons to perform natural breast reconstruction without having to pay out-of-network fees. Paying in-network fees for reconstruction requires you to choose a surgical team and affiliated hospital that are contracted with your insurance plan (i.e., an in-network provider and facility). Over the years, finding this kind of service has become easier, allowing you to keep costs down while still getting your desired results. In the 90s, microsurgical natural breast reconstruction (DIEP and SGAP flap surgeries) was developed and quickly became the cutting edge for reconstruction performed after mastectomy. Since these were new, innovative procedures, many women had to travel across the country because they weren't being performed by many providers at the time. They were also required to pay out-of-network fees because these procedures were offered by surgeons who were not contracted with major insurers. Because of the success of natural breast reconstruction, some facilities began offering fellowship training and invited board-certified plastic surgeons to participate. Today, patients are often able to find well-trained surgeons, as well as first-rate facilities and hospitals, that work with insurers to provide high-quality care closer to their homes. Doing your research when choosing a surgical team to perform your natural breast reconstruction is essential for your physical and financial health. It’s important to invest your time in finding a practice you can trust and making sure they have the right background. This includes training and years of experience in this specific surgical field, as well as a high success rate and shorter surgical times; your surgeon’s office should know these numbers. You can check your surgeon’s credentials by visiting federal and state databases, along with the websites of medical boards of which they are a member. To ensure that hospitals provide high-quality care in South Carolina, there are state regulations on the number of hospital beds and types of hospitals allowed within each community. So, it’s necessary to find a surgical team affiliated with a hospital that dedicates staff and services specifically to breast reconstruction patients. Our preferred hospitals, East Cooper Medical Center and Roper Hospital dedicate medical teams and specific areas of their large, full-service hospitals to serve our breast reconstruction patients, offering a full line of surgical and medical services. Plus, they are contracted with most major insurers, so they can save you money by avoiding out-of-network fees and balance billing. We know there are still areas within the United States that don't have fellowship-trained microsurgeons who can perform natural breast reconstruction. As a result, some women may have to travel to find a surgical team if they live in these areas, but it’s still possible to find a well-trained surgical team that is in-network to keep costs and travel manageable. When choosing qualified surgeons and excellent facilities for reconstruction, we all want to have positive outcomes utilizing our insurance benefits to their fullest. To find board-certified, in-network surgeons, you can visit your insurance provider’s website and use their search tool to find the closest participating plastic surgeons and healthcare facilities near you. At The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we are in-network, contracted providers with most major commercial insurers, including United Healthcare, Cigna, BlueCross BlueShield, Humana, and Aetna.