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Others seek cosmetic surgery to relieve pain or ease breathing.
At what point does performing a biopsy of tissue that is conspicuously normal, in the service of taking care of patients, become fraud? I don’t want to miss a skin cancer, and though it’s rare, I’ve seen normal-looking skin lesions turn out to be cancers.Most people live long lives these days but many of them also develop chronic health problems, despite the pace of medical advances.We are living longer than ever, but not necessarily better.Here’s a common example from my dermatology clinic. When I finally see her, she points out a skin tag in her right armpit.This benign, polyp-like growth has bothered her for years — she often nicks it while shaving, it rubs against her clothes, and it occasionally becomes painful and irritated.Cosmetic surgery has become increasingly more popular. Debra Dunn decided to have cosmetic surgery to fix a bump she had on her nose as a result of a childhood injury. After having two nose jobs and spending thousands of dollars, she was so dissatisfied with her results that she was embarrassed when she left the house and avoided mirrors. This makes it difficult for people who want to have surgery for conditions that fall in the gray zone between cosmetic and medically necessary, difficult for the doctors who take care of them, and a challenge for insurers whose goal is to minimize their expenses.At the core of this issue is how we define the terms cosmetic and medically necessary.But what if it is part of breast reconstruction after breast cancer surgery, or part of gender reassignment surgery for a transgender patient? advertisement Sometimes there’s a fine line between a cosmetic procedure and a medically necessary one.As a society, we have decided that most cosmetic procedures are elective and thus should be paid for by the individuals having them, while medically necessary procedures are covered by insurance.