Pheffer Amato and Breast Cancer Survivors Celebrate 1 Year Anniversary of Historic Legislation for Aesthetic Flat Closure

South Queens, NY New York State Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-South Queens) marched with cancer survivors, and advocates for Aesthetic Flat Closure (also known as a flat chest wall) over the weekend at the 20th Anniversary Event for the Middle Village Relay for Life. The Assemblywoman was joined by survivors, or as she referred to them as “thrivers,” to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of the passing of her legislation, A.8537 from 2022, which fully authorized insurance coverage for aesthetic flat closure. With the enactment of Pheffer Amato’s legislation, New York became the first State in the country to provide this right to women.

Aesthetic Flat Closure is a surgery many women wish to utilize after having a full or partial mastectomy. Prior to Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato’s legislation which required insurance companies in New York State to cover this surgery, women were often left with pockets of skin, or flaps of skin remaining on their chest. Until this law was implemented, the removal of the skin to achieve an aesthetic flat chest was deemed “cosmetic” and not covered by insurance. This resulted in reconstructive surgery or breast implants being covered by insurance, but the option to go flat was not.

“How a woman wishes for her chest to look after a mastectomy is now fully in her control. We all know someone who has been impacted by breast cancer, and this bill ensures that women don’t just survive, but thrive and feel good about their own body. Today, we honor those that didn’t have a choice and celebrate for all the women going forward who do,” said Pheffer Amato. While speaking at the Relay for Life event, Pheffer Amato presented an official copy of the legislation which passed with bi-partisan support.

Many of the female participants who had the aesthetic flat closure procedure marched shirtless to promote the surgery and show that women in New York have full autonomy over their chest.