Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Christina Applegate Plastic Surgery Before and After Breast and Reconstruction Surgery

Christina Applegate Chose Breast Reconstruction, So How Come Other Women Do Not?

Actress Christina Applegate stood in front of a crowd of her peers and millions of viewers at the 60th annual Emmy Awards. And I couldn't help wondering, how many of them were looking at her chest?
A little over a month ago, the 36-year-old star of Samantha Who? had a prophylactic double mastectomy after finding a tumor in one breast and testing positive for the BRCA-1 breast cancer gene mutation, which elevated her risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

After her surgery to remove both breasts, Applegate told Good Morning America that she would undergo reconstruction over the next several months. Whether she's started already, we don't really know. She walked the red carpet in an ice-blue, one-strapped asymmetrical gown, looking less voluptuous than usual, but as gorgeous and as confident as ever—and a stunning advertisement for life after mastectomy.

The reconstruction revolution
Experts speculate that Applegate will have what Roberta Gartside, MD, a Virginia plastic surgeon, said last week is the most popular breast cancer reconstruction option: an implant expander and an implant. After all breast tissue is removed, a temporary expander is put into each breast to stretch the skin so that there is enough of it to cover the implants, which are inserted in a future surgery. A few months later, the areola and nipple can be created on each breast.
Breast reconstruction was the hot topic at a Web seminar sponsored by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons last week, attended by Dr. Gartside and other experts. The surgery has come a long way, they said, with advances such as improved silicone implants, fat injections that may be able to correct deformities from lumpectomies, and TRAM flap surgery that uses the woman's own tissue and fat.

Christina Applegate’s Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

Christina Applegate is no stranger to going under the knife, as Make Me Heal has previously reported on Christina’s plastic surgery. But when the actress was diagnosed with breast cancer, Christina joined the ranks of women who opt for double mastectomies as their preferred treatment. Now, Christina has said she will spend the next several months undergoing reconstructive plastic surgery to help repair her breasts. we speculates on Christina’s surgery as well as other celebrities who have survived breast cancer.

It is difficult to speculate on what kind of reconstruction surgery Christina may be in the process of undergoing, as recent images aren’t revealing as Christina is, understandably, not wearing especially revealing clothing. As a young woman, recently diagnosed and treated, Christina is likely undergoing the most advanced techniques in reconstructive surgery, which spares as much skin as possible in order to later place implants.

Plastic surgeon Dr. John Di Saia tells us, “This one is hard as the possibilities in breast cancer surgery and reconstruction are many and the number of useful images we have to examine are few. Christina Applegate may have had contemporary skin-sparing mastectomies and may have started reconstruction with expanders as she seems up and around pretty early and is young.  She has also admitted to her double mastectomy and again looks pretty good (in clothing at least) pretty soon afterward.”
Plastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Walden further explains Christina’s likely treatment and reconstruction process: Christina Applegate: She underwent a bilateral mastectomy given her diagnosis of breast cancer and being BRCA-1 positive, which means after the mastectomies she has with very little tissue (equally) on both sides. For this reason, and the fact that she’s young and slender, she’s an ideal candidate for placement of tissue expanders which may have even been placed at the time of her mastectomy surgery. In any case, expanders are placed under the pectoralis major muscle and inflated with sterile saline over time to stretch out the breast skin, and ultimately silicone breast implants are replaced some 6 to 8 months later.  Further down the road the nipples are reconstructed and even pigmented by a medical tattoo artist.  Some lucky women who get double mastectomies which have been skin-sparing in nature have supple enough tissues that they don’t even need the expanders placed, and go straight to placement of the submuscular breast implants.”

Over the years, many other female celebrities have come out about their battles with breast cancer and how they dealt with the aftermath, either opting for some form of reconstructive surgery or not. These survivors include pop-singers Kylie Minogue, Sheryl Crow, Olivia Newton-John and Anastacia, as well as actresses Edie Falco and Lynn Redgrave to name a few.

Dr. John Di Saia explains, “Some women decide upon partial mastectomies and radiation therapy. Not too long ago the options were not as many and skin-sparing mastectomies were not yet popular. This left many not-so-great-looking breasts with more problems. Some of the ladies operated for breast cancer and/or reconstruction in the not-too-distant past will probably be unlikely to appear in images that we could use to determine what had happened, as they may be self-conscious.

Dr. Jennifer Walden analyzed various celebrities who had mastectomies and speculated on what treatment and reconstruction that each leading lady likely went through: