Wednesday, August 20th, 2008
As you may know by now, Christina Applegate has undergone a double mastectomy for possible breast cancer. She has the BRCA1 gene, which is a marker for high breast cancer risk. Ms. Applegate elected to undergo a prophylactic mastectomy, essentially removing all her breast tissue in order to prevent a potentially deadly cancer from appearing. In an interview, she stated that the next eight months would be spent undergoing breast reconstruction surgery.
What reconstructive surgery may she be having? It sounds to me that she is probably going to undergo breast reconstruction using breast implants. This process can take several surgeries. Most commonly, temporary breast implant expanders are placed at the time of the mastectomy. These implants are gradually filled over several months to expand the remaining skin and muscle. When they are the desired size, then another surgery is performed where the expander implants are replaced with permanent breast implants. Usually a few months later the nipples are recreated during a third surgery. The final step is often tattooing of the nipples and areola, in order to get the darker color of the real thing.
I wish her the best in her recovery and future treatments. I thought she was great in Married with Children.
Photo credit: prphotos.com
Thanks for reading.
Anthony Youn, M.D.