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Medical plastic surgery on the rise in Belgium
The national institute for health and disability insurance (Inami) last year provided a reimbursement for nearly 60,000 plastic surgery procedures in Belgium, accounting for more than €18 million, an increase of 70% compared to 2006, writes De Morgen.
Inami partially reimburses only interventions that are medically necessary, such as the restoration of tissue after a trauma such as a burn or removed tumour, explains Jan Vranckx, head of plastic and aesthetic surgery at the University Hospital of Leuven.
Breast and jaw reconstructions are especially on the rise, according to Vranckx. “That's because there's much more focus on prevention, so that those with a higher risk of breast cancer often choose to have their breasts removed as a preventative measure,” he says. The increase in jaw reconstructions is due to the fact that we now have a 3D printer that can make a new jaw exactly to size.”
The rising number of interventions means higher costs for Inami, but has also made Belgium into a “global leader in the field of plastic reconstructive surgery," Vranckx says. “It would be a shame to lose that position due to budget cuts."