Angelina Jolie - Full Extent of Angelina Jolie's Heroic Double Mastectomy Comes To Light
Angelina Jolie may still undergo more surgery to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
Angelina Jolie was back working on her next movie, just four days after having a double mastectomy, her doctor revealed in a detailed description of the actress' months of treatment. The Oscar-winning actress underwent the double mastectomy on February 16, 2013, at the Pink Lotus Breast Centre in Beverly Hills, California, to reduce her risk of breast cancer from 87% to just 5%. "On day four after her mastectomies I was pleased to find her not only in good spirits with bountiful energy, but with two walls in her house covered with freshly assembled storyboards for the next project she is directing," Dr Kristin Funk explained in a lengthy blog-post on the center's website."All the while she spoke, six drains dangled from her chest, three on each side, fastened to an elastic belt around her waist," added Dr Funk.
Ms Jolie made worldwide headline news this week after revealing the details of her surgery in a piece titled 'My Medical Choice' in the New York Times. She wrote, "I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don't need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer." The actress received a flurry of positive messages from women around the world, though Dr Funk's post details the true extent of Angelina's heroism and bravery. Her first operation came on February 2, with a procedure to rule out the presence of cancerous cells in the milk ducts around the nipple in women who have decided to preserve their nipples whole almost all their breast tissue is removed during the surgery. Though it is known her partner - the Hollywood movie star Brad Pitt - was supportive throughout the operation, Dr Funk revealed the extent of the couple's strong bond, "[Brad Pitt] was on hand to greet her as soon as she came around from the anaesthetic, as he was there during each of the operations," he said.
Angelina Jolie [L] Says She Had The Full Support of Brad Pitt [R] For The Double Mastectomy
During the mastectomy two weeks later, a plastic surgeon named Dr Jay Orringer "performed the first stage breast reconstruction by placing tissue expanders with allograft", which Funk describes as ""synthetic sheets of material, that create a more natural look" for women having their breasts rebuilt. On April 27, Jolie received breast implants during her third and final surgery, the reconstruction "which went extremely well, bringing an end to her surgical journey."
Funk also detailed the plethora of medications and supplements which Jolie took to help her wounds heal after each operation, reducing the risk of infection, vomiting, swelling and bruising.
"I am fortunate to have a partner, Brad Pitt, who is so loving and supportive. So to anyone who has a wife or girlfriend going through this, know that you are a very important part of the transition," wrote Jolie in her New York Times piece, "Brad was at the Pink Lotus Breast Center, where I was treated, for every minute of the surgeries. We managed to find moments to laugh together. We knew this was the right thing to do for our family and that it would bring us closer. And it has."
Angelina Jolie [L] and Brad Pitt [R] At The Palm Springs International Film Festival
According to a report by People magazine, the mother of six is also planning to undergo surgery to remove her ovaries. Because she suffers from a "faulty" BRCA1 gene, she still faces a high risk of developing ovarian cancer, which her doctors estimate at around 50 per cent.
Speaking to USA Today, partner Brad Pitt said of Angelina's surgery, "I'm quite emotional about it, of course. She could have stayed absolutely private about it and I don't think anyone would have been none the wiser with such good results. But it was really important for her to share the story and that others would understand it doesn't have to be a scary thing."
Brad Pitt [L] and Angelina Jolie [R] Are Rumored To Be Getting Married This Year