Angelina Jolie’s Surgeon, Dr. Jay Orringer, Looks Back 5 Years after Her Double Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction

Greater awareness of gene testing, mastectomy and breast reconstruction options, and patient empowerment continues with the ‘Angelina Jolie Effect’

Beverly Hills, California, UNITED STATES

Beverly Hills, California, Feb. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Humanitarian and Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie underwent a preventative double mastectomy and breast reconstruction in 2013. One member of her team was Dr. Jay Orringer, a double board-certified plastic surgeon who performed Ms. Jolie’s breast reconstruction surgery.

Ms. Jolie decided to undergo the preventative double mastectomy after testing positive for a faulty BRCA1 gene, which significantly elevated her risk of developing breast cancer. She went public with her decision nearly five years ago. Now, studies show a significant increase in the number of women undergoing genetic testing to better assess their risk for breast and other cancers. Since that time, researchers have also found a greater awareness among women of the potential benefit of prophylactic mastectomy under certain high-risk settings and breast reconstruction options.

Dr. Orringer predicted this “Angelina Jolie Effect” in an exclusive interview with the New York Daily News from 2013. He spoke at length about the impact Ms. Jolie’s “‘brave, benevolent’ decision to share her journey” would have on other women.

“I’m seeing in my practice already women who are saying, ‘I was inspired by [Ms. Jolie] to get gene testing,’” Dr. Orringer told the Daily News in 2013. “I think it’s going to have a tremendously lasting impact.”

Five years later, Dr. Orringer said that he continues to see the impact of Ms. Jolie’s decision to share her journey of genetic testing, mastectomy, reconstruction, and recovery.

“Ms. Jolie brought awareness of the importance of breast cancer risk assessment and the concept of potentially life-saving prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction surgery, particularly in the high-risk BRCA patient,” he said. “Her benevolence in sharing her experience and insight has undoubtedly contributed to the saving of increasingly large numbers of lives annually.”

Dr. Orringer said that the greater awareness of genetic risk for breast cancer, combined with an expanded ability to identify the threat posed by mutations other than those of the BRCA genes, has had a powerful impact on helping women understand their risk for breast cancer.

Patients continue to mention Ms. Jolie as the inspiration who led to their being tested.

Today, more common indications for testing include a history of breast cancer under age 50 in two or more close relatives, such as a mother, sister, or daughter; a personal history of triple negative breast cancer diagnosed at or before age 60; a personal history of breast and ovarian cancer; and a personal history of bilateral breast cancer. Other reasons for testing may include a male relative with breast cancer and a family history of BRCA or other high-risk mutation. Patients of Eastern European Jewish ancestry with a close relative with breast, ovarian, or pancreatic cancer should also consider undergoing testing.

“Our increased ability to analyze the genes of patients with breast cancer has allowed for the identification of an increasing number of gene variants that are associated with an increased lifetime risk of breast cancer, including mutations to the PALB2, PTEN, TP53, and CHEK2,” Dr. Orringer said. “So even if a woman with a strong family history of breast cancer has tested negative for a BRCA gene mutation, she may still want to ask her doctor for a referral to a geneticist, who may assess a newer multi-gene panel and perform further risk assessment regarding other possible types of cancer.”

Ultimately, another outcome of the “Angelina Jolie Effect” is the sense of empowerment that Ms. Jolie has instilled in women to make decisions about their health. Her story also shows the importance of each patient forming her own medical team and support network.

“We now know that prophylactic mastectomy in the high-risk setting may reduce breast cancer risk by 90 percent,” Dr. Orringer said. “Reconstruction following prophylactic mastectomy may help restore a sense of wholeness and beauty after this potentially life-saving procedure.”

About The Renaissance Medical Center for Aesthetic Surgery, Inc.

Dr. Jay Orringer is certified by and a diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery. He is also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Orringer founded The Renaissance Medical Center for Aesthetic Surgery, Inc. in 1990. He performs cosmetic and reconstructive surgical procedures, including breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction, and breast reconstruction; body contouring; mommy makeover; facelift; and more. He serves patients in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica and the greater Los Angeles area of California, as well as visitors from across the country and internationally.



A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Dr. Jay Orringer accepting the Spirit of Hope Award at a luncheon hosted by the Tower Cancer Research Foundation's Magnolia Council.

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