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India: Free breast reconstruction to be offered by Chennai clinic

India: Free breast reconstruction to be offered by Chennai clinic

A government hospital in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has launched a clinic that offers free breast reconstruction surgery. The Stanley Hospital, which was already performing free breast reconstruction for cancer survivors, will now also offer free breast alteration surgery. The procedures will be largely free for patients on low incomes. Tamil Nadu has one of India’s best healthcare delivery systems. Breast reconstruction surgery can cost upwards of 80,000 rupees ($1,233; £880) in private hospitals.

According to Dr V Rama Devi, head of plastic surgery at the hospital in Chennai (formerly Madras) the clinic will offer three types of procedures: reconstruction for cancer patients, breast augmentation for those with small breasts and breast reduction for those with large breasts, While breast reduction and reconstruction will be free, women seeking augmentation will have to pay for implants.

Dr Devi said that this decision was important due to the fact that patients were often suffering from “psychological problems”. However, all patients would be examined by a team of doctors before a decision to carry out surgery will be taken.

“We encourage them to talk about their problems. We explain to them in detail about changes in their breasts after the surgery,” she added. The hospital’s plastic surgery unit expects to receive up to 100 patients a month for breast reconstruction surgery.