Meet Reconstructive Surgeon Babak Mehrara

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Babak J. Mehrara, MD

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Titles

Chief, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical Service; Peter G. Cordeiro Endowed Chair in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Clinical Expertise

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; Breast and Facial Reconstruction; Microsurgery; Lymphedema

New Patient Appointments

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Accepted Insurance Providers

Dr. Mehrara accepts the following list of insurance providers. Select your insurance provider to see more details.

Aetna

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Aetna HMO, POS, and PPO plans. Aetna does not include us in any of the plans you can purchase through the insurance exchanges or through Medicare. Please ask your insurance if you need a one-time referral.

Blue Cross Blue Shield

In New York State

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (Wellpoint) of New York HMO, EPO, PPO, and POS plans, with the following exceptions:

  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering is not an in-network provider for Empire's Medicare Managed Care plan known as Mediblue).
  • The Empire Indemnity Plan provides limited coverage for our services.

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

In New Jersey

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey plans for individuals, families, and small businesses. For example, the PPO plan is in-network with our Manhattan locations.

Horizon Blue Cross HMO is only in-network with our Basking Ridge, Bergen and Monmouth locations. It does not allow access to our Manhattan facilities.

Horizon Blue Cross PPO is in network with our Basking Ridge, Bergen, Monmouth and Manhattan locations.

OMNIA Plans: Tier I EPO based plan policy is only in-network with our Basking Ridge, Bergen and Monmouth locations and does not allow access to our Manhattan sites. Tier II EPO is only in-network with our Manhattan sites if it is a blue-card plan (there would be a suitcase logo indicating PPO on the front of the card).

Other plans may only be in-network at our Basking Ridge, Bergen or Monmouth locations.

Outside New York State and New Jersey

Some, but not all, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans outside of New York and New Jersey include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider. Contact your insurance to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.

CIGNA

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with CIGNA's HMO, POS, and PPO plans. CIGNA does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.

  • If you are a New York State resident: Please ask your insurance if you need a one-time referral.
  • If you live outside of New York State: Please ask your insurance if you have in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

EmblemHealth (including GHI, HIP, ConnectiCare, and Vytra)

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with EmblemHealth’s PPO, EPO, POS, and HMO plans as well as their Enhanced Care Prime Network, which supports Medicaid Managed Care and Child Health Plus and Medicare plans. Memorial Sloan Kettering is also in-network with the New York State Essential Emblem Health plan, which can be purchased on the insurance exchange. Emblem Health does not include us in any of its Medicare plans or in any of its Select Care network plans. You must bring a referral from your Emblem primary care doctor to your first appointment.

Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Plus

Formerly known as Health Plus Amerigroup, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Plus is an in-network provider with Memorial Sloan Kettering. You will need a one-time referral from your primary care doctor.

Health Insurance Exchanges

We understand that there may be many complexities involved with insurance coverage purchased through the health exchange network of the Affordable Care Act. We're here to help. If you have questions about how your care will be covered by an insurance provider, or need help navigating a change in coverage, please call us at 646-227-3378; if you are not a resident of New York, you can call us at 866-248-1274. Our team is here to listen to your concerns and assist you in any way we can. We want our care to be as accessible and affordable for as many people as possible.

HealthSmart

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with HealthSmart’s Accel, HSPC, and HPO networks.

Humana

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Humana.

Interlink Health Services

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Interlink Health Services.

Lifetrac

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Lifetrac.

MagnaCare

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider for all MagnaCare health plans except those products you can buy through the insurance exchanges.

Medicaid

New York State Medicaid covers physician and hospital services at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Patients are responsible for co-payments.

We also have contractual relationships involving Medicaid Managed Care plans. MSK is an in-network provider with Medicaid NY Emblem Health (formerly known as HIP) and Medicaid NY Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HealthPlus (formerly known as Amerigroup). You will need a one-time referral from your primary care doctor.

Medicare

Hospital and physician services at Memorial Sloan Kettering are covered by standard Medicare insurance. You are responsible for co-insurance and deductible costs. 

In New York: Memorial Sloan Kettering’s New York locations are in-network with the Emblem Medicare Advantage Plans.

In New Jersey: Memorial Sloan Kettering’s  New Jersey locations in Basking Ridge, Bergen and Monmouth are in-network with the Horizon Medicare Advantage Plan. This plan is not accepted for care provided at MSK’s New York locations.

If you are enrolled in any other Medicare Advantage plan, please contact your insurance carrier to determine your benefits and coverage at Memorial Sloan Kettering since your access may be limited.

Multiplan/Beech Street/PHCS

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some Multiplan/Beech Street/PHCS plans. Contact your insurance carrier to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Multiplan.

Multiple Insurance Plans

If you are covered by more than one insurance plan, you will want to determine your benefits from both plans. First, you need to determine which one is your primary insurance provider by contacting your employee benefits office or your insurance carriers. After you find out which is your primary insurance provider, you should then contact your insurance carrier to determine if you have access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.

MVP

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with some MVP plans. Contact your insurance carrier to find out if your plan provides in-network access to Memorial Sloan Kettering.

New York State Employee Health Insurance Plan (Empire Plan)

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider for New York State employees who have enrolled in UnitedHealthcare's Cancer Resource Services. If you have the Empire Plan, you should call Cancer Resources Services at 866-936-6002 to verify and enroll in this coverage.

Oscar

Memorial Sloan Kettering is in-network with Oscar's Circle Plus Network, a part of its Small Group Broad line that is offered only to select small business groups. Oscar does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider for any of its individual plans. Please confirm eligibility with your insurance carrier.

Other Coverage Options

We have agreements with several insurance companies that may provide additional coverage for cancer patients. These benefit programs include:

  • AXA Assistance USA
  • Beech Street
  • Integrated Health Plans
  • National Health Administrators
  • National Preferred Provider Network
  • UnitedHealthcare's Cancer Resource Services
  • United Resource Network
  • Veterans Choice Program
Oxford

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Oxford’s Freedom and Liberty plans as well as the Metro Plan (which is only offered to small business groups and no longer offered as individual plans). Please confirm with your insurance if you need a one-time referral. Note: Oxford's Medicare Managed Care plan — Secure Horizon — does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider. Oxford does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.

QualCare

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with QualCare's PPO and HMO/POS network.

Specialty Care Management

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Specialty Care Management.

TRICARE

Hospital and physician services at Memorial Sloan Kettering are covered by TRICARE. You are responsible for co-insurance and deductible costs.

UnitedHealthcare

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with UnitedHealthCare's HMO, POS, and PPO plans. Please confirm with your insurance if a one-time referral is needed.

UnitedHealthCare's Medicare Managed Care plan does not include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider.

United does not include us in any of the plans you can buy through the insurance exchanges.

Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by UnitedHealthcare.

World Trade Center Health Program

Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with the World Trade Center Health Program.

Contact and Location

Find a Convenient Location

Memorial Sloan Kettering has locations throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. These locations offers many services, including screening, chemotherapy, and medical testing.

See all locations

About Me

Education

MD, Columbia University

Residencies

General Surgery - New York University Medical Center; Plastic Surgery - New York University Medical Center

Fellowships

Microsurgery - University of California Los Angeles Medical Center

Board Certifications

Plastic Surgery

I am a plastic surgeon who specializes in cancer reconstruction. I have specialized training in microsurgery and extensive experience in reconstruction with perforator flaps, including DIEP and SGAPs for breast reconstruction. I also have expertise in using surgical and non-surgical options to care for people with cancer-related lymphedema. My research team and I study the causes of lymphedema so that we can develop better ways to prevent and treat it.

Microsurgery is a type of procedure in which tissues are transplanted from one part of the body to another by reconnecting small blood vessels using a microscope. Perforator flaps are the latest and most advanced microsurgical techniques available for reconstruction. These techniques are an improvement on traditional microsurgery because there is much less trauma to the area from which transplanted tissues are collected. For example, in the DIEP flap, the rectus muscle (commonly known as the “6-pack”) of the abdomen is preserved, while in traditional TRAM flap procedures this muscle is cut resulting in more pain, longer recovery, and higher chance of hernias after surgery. I have lectured nationally and internationally on breast reconstruction and have published extensively on the topic.

My research interest is lymphedema, the swelling of an extremity that develops in some people with cancer who have lymph nodes removed as part of their treatment. I have developed a number of models to study lymphedema in the laboratory with a goal of understanding how it develops. Our long-term goal is to design novel methods including surgery and medical treatments to prevent and treat lymphedema. Depending on their circumstances, I offer my patients liposuction, lymph node transfer, or lymphatic by-pass procedures. Our NIH funded laboratory has collaborations with researchers at Stanford University, MD Anderson Cancer Center, USC Medical Center, and Beth Israel Medical Center.

Awards and Honors

  • Castle Connolly: New York Magazine Top Doctors (2010, 2013, 2016-2018)

Colleagues

Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering work as teams, with specialists from all different areas. This allows us to consider all your needs together, and to give you the best possible care.

Clinical Trials

Find a Clinical Trial for You

Memorial Sloan Kettering's doctors and scientists are constantly developing new treatments for cancer. MSK is typically running hundreds of clinical trials at a given time.

You may be able to participate in a clinical trial even if you are new to MSK. Search our online directory to find trial information and see more about who can participate.

Search clinical trials

Research and Publications

View Dr. Mehrara's Lab

Pusic, AL, Cemal Y, Albornoz YC, Klassen A, CanoS, Sulimanoff I, Hernandez M, Massey M, Cordeiro P, Morrow M and Mehrara B. “Quality of life among breast cancer patients with lymphedema: a systematic review of patient-reported outcome instruments and outcomes.”  J Cancer Surviv 2013, 7(1): 83-92.

Avraham T, Zampell JC, Yan A, Elhadad S, Weitman ES, Rockson SG, Bromberg J and Mehrara BJ. “Th2 differentiation is necessary for soft tissue fibrosis and lymphatic dysfunction resulting from lymphedema.” FASEB J 2013; 27(3): 1114-1126.

Ho, A., P. Cordeiro, J. Disa, B. Mehrara, J. Wright, K. J. Van Zee, C. Hudis, A. McLane, J. Chou, Z. Zhang, S. Powell and B. McCormick (2012). “Long-term outcomes in breast cancer patients undergoing immediate 2-stage expander/implant reconstruction and postmastectomy radiation.” Cancer 2011, 118(9): 2552-2559.

Crisera, C. A., E. I. Chang, A. L. Da Lio, J. H. Festekjian and B. J. Mehrara (2011). “Immediate free flap reconstruction for advanced-stage breast cancer: is it safe?” Plast Reconstr Surg 2011: 128(1): 32-41.

Yan, A., T. Avraham, J. C. Zampell, S. Z. Aschen and B. J. Mehrara (2011). “Mechanisms of lymphatic regeneration after tissue transfer.” PLoS One 2011, 6(2): e17201.

McCarthy, C. M., A. F. Klassen, S. J. Cano, A. Scott, N. Vanlaeken, P. A. Lennox, A. K. Alderman, B. J. Mehrara, J. J. Disa, P. G. Cordeiro and A. L. Pusic (2010). “Patient satisfaction with postmastectomy breast reconstruction: a comparison of saline and silicone implants.” Cancer 2010, 116(24): 5584-5591.

Avraham, T., S. V. Daluvoy, E. R. Riedel, P. G. Cordeiro, K. J. Van Zee and B. J. Mehrara (2010). “Tissue expander breast reconstruction is not associated with an increased risk of lymphedema.” Ann Surg Oncol 2010, 17(11): 2926-2932.

Morrow, M. and B. Mehrara (2009). “Prophylactic mastectomy and the timing of breast reconstruction.” Br J Surg 2010, 96(1): 1-2.

Mehrara, B. J., J. C. Zampell, H. Suami and D. W. Chang (2011). “Surgical management of lymphedema: past, present, and future.” Lymphat Res Biol 2010, 9(3): 159-167.

Disa, J. J., C. M. McCarthy, B. J. Mehrara, A. L. Pusic, Q. Y. Hu and P. G. Cordeiro (2009). “Postmastectomy reconstruction: an approach to patient selection.” Plast Reconstr Surg 2009, 124(1): 43-52.

Avraham, T., N. Clavin and B. J. Mehrara (2008). “Microsurgical breast reconstruction.” Cancer J 2008, 14(4): 241-247.

Chen, C. M., E. G. Halvorson, J. J. Disa, C. McCarthy, Q. Y. Hu, A. L. Pusic, P. G. Cordeiro and B. J. Mehrara (2007). “Immediate postoperative complications in DIEP versus free/muscle-sparing TRAM flaps.” Plast Reconstr Surg 2007, 120(6): 1477-1482.

Mehrara, B. J., T. D. Santoro, E. Arcilla, J. P. Watson, W. W. Shaw and A. L. Da Lio (2006). “Complications after microvascular breast reconstruction: experience with 1195 flaps.” Plast Reconstr Surg 2006, 118(5): 1100-1109; discussion 1110-1101.

Selected Book Chapters
“Distraction osteogenis.” Mehrara BJ, Longaker MT, Mc Carthy JG, Hedrick MH, and Kawamoto H. In: The First International Baylor Orthodontic Symposium (Dallas, Texas). Sachdeva R, ed. Glendora, CA: Ormco; 1997.

 

Publications on PubMed

Visit PubMed for a full listing of Dr. Mehrara’s journal articles. Pubmed is an online index of research papers and other articles from the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

See all on PubMed