Catalonia will guarantee breast reconstruction after mastectomy in less than 180 days

The Conselleria de Salut of the Generalitat will include the breast reconstructions primary reconstructions derived from a mastectomy for an oncologic process within the surgical interventions that have a guaranteed access period less than 180 days. Salut anticipates that this measure will come into effect on January 1, 2023. At present, the average waiting time is almost one year, but the timeframes are not the same at all centers, so there may be longer waits.

As reported by the Department this Monday, the process has been initiated so that the ‘conseller’. Josep Maria Argimon Signs the order that will modify a 2002 decree establishing the maximum deadlines of access to certain surgical procedures, to add breast reconstructions. The order is scheduled to be approved before the end of 2022 to come into force on January 1, 2023 and, thereafter, Salut is given a transitional period of six months to achieve the goal that all women who require it receive breast reconstruction in less than 180 days.

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Breast cancer is one of the diseases that have a greater emotional impact on women, both because of the physical marks it produces and because of the self-esteem or affective state. For this reason, and in the face of cases of women who reported a excessively long waitSalut has set to work to avoid long waiting times and to homogenize them throughout Catalonia.

In addition, to ensure better care for women who require breast reconstruction, a working group has been created by professionals from the Catalan Society of Plastic Surgery and CatSalut, which is working on different actions. Among them, it stands out to increase the contracting by CatSalut of breast reconstruction surgeries until December 31, in 131 operating room sessions, depending on the availability of health centers. It also created a higher rate that subsidizes immediate reconstruction, i.e., that which is performed in the same surgical act just after the removal.

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During 2021, 5,721 surgical procedures were performed for the treatment of breast cancer and 26.76 % consisted of total mastectomy. Of these breast removal procedures, 60 % of the cases involved immediate breast reconstruction. The breast reconstruction process may involve several surgical interventions and other operations may be necessary to ensure symmetry, retouching or replacement of prostheses.

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