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Celebrities don’t usually tend to share plastic surgery stories with the world, especially when they want their fans to think they look that good naturally (not because a talented plastic surgeon gave them a helping hand). However, there are times when Hollywood stars come forward and share their surgery stories, which can often inspire their fans and help them appear more human than merely picture-perfect god-like creatures.

Women in the World Summit 2013

One starlet has recently come forward to admit a very personal and very touching story that has the entire world talking, but it’s not because she decided to get any sort of augmentation, Botox or liposuction. In a very candid self-written article published in The New York Times, Actress Angelina Jolie has very openly revealed to having a double mastectomy and consequent breast reconstruction surgery, and has told the world exactly why she has chosen to take this path in her life.

A mastectomy is a surgery that removes one or both breasts either partially or completely. It is usually performed when a woman (or in rare cases a man) develops breast cancer or for patients who are at a high risk of developing breast cancer due to family history or who have tested positive for a mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which can increase the risk of developing breast (or ovarian) cancer.

Jolie, who has appeared in numerous films, including the 2005 hit “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” with her partner Brad Pitt, wrote a very personal Op-Ed article regarding the loss of her mother to breast cancer and her own recent positive test for the BRCA1 genetic mutation. Jolie speaks of how she was told by doctors that her risk of developing the same cancer that took her mother’s life was at a staggering 87 percent. She shared how difficult it was to lose her mother and how she does not want her children to go through the same pain.

With much difficulty but incredible bravery, Jolie made the decision to have a preventative double mastectomy surgery and subsequent breast reconstruction surgery, which took her roughly 3 months to recover from.

Now, Jolie’s chances of developing breast cancer have been reduced to less than 5 percent. She no longer worries of leaving her children due to an illness that runs in her family and hopes that through her example, other women can gain courage to seek testing for the same BRCA mutatations or other methods of preventative care.

The decision to undergo postmastectomy breast reconstruction surgery is not an easy one, but it’s one that can be made easier by learning as much as possible about the procedure and what can be expected in the weeks and months following the treatment.

At Body Sculptor, Chicago Plastic Surgeon Dr. Otto Placik takes the time to inform all patients of what the surgery entails and what they can expect before, during and after the treatment has been completed. Breast reconstruction is a series of procedures that vary, depending on the patient’s preference and unique physical characteristics.

Dr. Placik can perform the reconstruction treatment using either a traditional breast implant or the patient’s own tissue. Patients can also opt for nipple reconstruction during the procedure.

Breast cancer survivors and those who have made the very brave decision to undergo preventative measures to remove breast tissue prone to cancer need not have to worry about feeling self-conscious of their bodies following a mastectomy. Breast reconstruction can rebuilt the breasts to the patient’s natural size or, if the patient chooses, can be reshaped or even enlarged for symmetry, comfort or personal preference.

If you or a loved one have considered postmastectomy breast reconstruction in Chicago, turn to Dr. Placik today to discuss your best options.

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