Angelina Jolie's Double Mastectomy, Breast Reconstruction

May 29, 2013

Angelina Jolie recently penned an article in the New York Times about her choice to undergo a double mastectomy.
Angelina Jolie recently penned an article in the New York Times about her choice to undergo a double mastectomy.

Actress Angelina Jolie made a startling revelation recently - after finding out she was at high risk for breast cancer, she decided to undergo a double mastectomy. Jolie is being praised in the media for not only having the courage to go through this procedure, but also being willing to share her story in the hopes that it may inspire other woman to visit their physician to investigate their own risks of the illness.

Jolie penned an op-ed in The New York Times about her preventative double mastectomy, reports CNN. "My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman," she wrote. "Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much as I could. I made a decision to have a preventive double mastectomy."

Jolie is only 37 years old, but she is no stranger to the pain cancer can cause. Her own mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, had breast cancer and died of ovarian cancer six years ago at the age of 56. Her grandmother died of ovarian cancer at age 45 and her Aunt just passed away from ovarian cancer at age 61 this weekend.

It took three months for Jolie to go through the entire procedure, including breast reconstruction. She explained that it was a three-part process. The first procedure was performed to up her odds of saving her nipples, followed by a second surgery to remove the breast tissue. Finally, Jolie had breast implants inserted to restore the natural appearance of her breasts.

As an actress, much of Jolie's career depends on her appearance. However, everyday women who decide to undergo double mastectomies are likely to also be concerned about how they will look once the procedure is completed. Fortunately, a visit to a plastic surgeon can help women discover what options they have. Many choose to undergo a reconstruction with implants, much like Jolie did.

Modern aesthetic medicine affords women many options when it comes to breast implants. They can choose between silicone or saline implants, and they also have the option of textured or non-textured breasts. These decisions are best made with the guidance of a board-certified plastic surgeon who can thoroughly explain the advantages of each type of implant.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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