NYS Assembly Passes Pheffer Amato’s Aesthetic Flat Closure Bill: Gives Women the Option on How Their Body Will Look Post-Mastectomy

South Queens, NY A groundbreaking bill introduced by Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-South Queens) passed the New York State Assembly with a unanimous vote. The bill, A.8537, is set to amend the insurance law. It will provide coverage and information on chest wall reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy or partial mastectomy, commonly known as “aesthetic flat closure.”

Currently, breast reconstruction is covered by insurance and while many women pursue reconstructive surgeries women also choose to "stay flat" and pursue aesthetic flat closure. Women who forgo breast reconstruction are most often done in one surgery, but about one in four will require revision to produce an acceptable aesthetic result (an aesthetic flat closure). Too often, these women are told that their revision surgery is “cosmetic” and therefore will not be covered by insurance. With this new bill, not only would breast reconstruction be covered by insurance, but so would flat closure. This change in the law gives women a choice in how they want their post-mastectomy body to look.

“Roughly 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and the effects are life altering, to say the least. There are too many cases where women have been forced into a decision that they may not have wanted – but no more. Our State is standing up and saying a woman can choose how her body will look after a mastectomy,” said Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato.

The Assemblywoman went on to say that “the brave women who came forward and brought this to my attention and my heroes. I have seen their scars, heard their stories and it is through their experiences, not only through surviving breast cancer but dealing with the aftermath that I am pushing this bill. After a mastectomy, every woman deserves to have a body that they are happy with and we are on the way to ensuring that this will happen.”

The bill passed the Assembly and is now in the Senate and being carried by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky.