Meet Reconstructive Surgeon Babak Mehrara
Babak J. Mehrara, MD
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon
Chief, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical Service; Peter G. Cordeiro Endowed Chair in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; Breast and Facial Reconstruction; Microsurgery; Lymphedema
New Patient Appointments
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Dr. Mehrara accepts the following list of insurance providers. Select your insurance provider to see more details.
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. MSK has an agreement with the Aetna Transplant Program for all Aetna's commercial products.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Blue Distinction Center for bone marrow transplant and CAR-T.
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.
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 an in-network provider with EmblemHealth’s PPO, EPO, POS, HMO plans. EmblemHealth includes GHI, HIP, Vytra, and ConnecticCare (in NYS Only). You must bring a referral from your Emblem primary care doctor to your first appointment. In-network participation exceptions include:
- Emblem’s HIP Commercial Millennium, Select Care and Enhanced Care Prime networks is not in-network with Memorial Sloan Kettering.
- Please call Emblem to confirm if your specific plan is in-network.
For information regarding Memorial Sloan Kettering’s participation with Emblem’s Medicare Advantage Plans, please refer to the Medicare & Medicaid page
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (Wellpoint) of New York Indemnity, HMO, EPO, PPO, POS and Medicare Advantage 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.
- Please call Empire BCBS to confirm if your specific plan is in-network with Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with HealthFirst’s commercial products; these commercial products are not purchased on the insurance exchanges.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with HealthSmart’s Accel, HSPC, and HPO networks.
For our NJ locations, Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with most Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey plans for individuals, families, and small businesses. Horizon members with Blue Card Access (there would be a suitcase logo on the front of the card) may have access to our NY locations. Please call Horizon to confirm if your plan is in-network in NY.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Humana.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Interlink Health Services.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Lifetrac.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider for all MagnaCare health plans except those products you can buy through the insurance exchanges.
For information about Medicare and Medicaid, please visit this page
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Blue Cross Blue Shield plans include Memorial Sloan Kettering as an in-network provider. Contact your insurance company to confirm if Memorial Sloan Kettering is in-network.
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
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.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with the World Trade Center Health Program.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is an in-network provider with QualCare's PPO and HMO/POS network.
Memorial Sloan Kettering is a designated Center of Excellence by Specialty Care Management.
Hospital and physician services may be covered by TRICARE. Please call your TRICARE plan to confirm coverage at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
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.
Contact and Location
Memorial Sloan Kettering has locations throughout New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Westchester. These locations offer many services, including screening, chemotherapy, and medical testing.
MD, Columbia University
General Surgery - New York University Medical Center; Plastic Surgery - New York University Medical Center
Microsurgery - University of California Los Angeles Medical Center
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, 2016-2020)
- Clinical Trials Co-Investigated by Dr. Mehrara
- A Study to See if Immediate Lymphatic Reconstruction Decreases the Risk of Lymphedema after Axillary Lymph Node Removal during Breast Cancer Surgery
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.
Research and Publications
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.
MSK requires doctors and faculty members to report (“disclose”) the relationships and financial interests they have with external entities. As a commitment to transparency with our community, we make that information available to the public.
Babak J. Mehrara discloses the following relationships and financial interests:
aTyr Pharma, Inc.
Provision of Services (uncompensated)
If you’re a patient at MSK and would like more information about your doctor’s external relationships, please talk with your doctor.
The information published here is for a specific annual disclosure period. There may be differences between information on this and other public sites as a result of different reporting periods and/or the various ways relationships and financial interests are categorized by organizations that publish such data.
This page and data include information for a specific MSK annual disclosure period (January 1, 2020 through disclosure submission in spring 2021). This data reflects interests that may or may not still exist. This data is updated annually.