Angelina Jolie's Double Mastectomy: Surgeon Says Actress "Waited to Find the Perfect Timing"

38-year-old star's physician is featured on the cover of the September issue of Los Angeles magazine

By Alyssa Toomey Aug 17, 2013 12:12 AMTags
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Angelina Jolie inspired countless women when she announced she had a preventative double mastectomy, and now her doctor is opening up about the 38-year-old star's bold decision.

Dr. Kristi Funk of the Pink Lotus Center is featured on the cover of the September issue of Los Angeles magazine, in which she discusses Jolie's brave choice to share her story and the impact it had on the world.

"She is intensely private, but she calculated the moment when she would be ready to reveal something so personal," Funk, who performed Angelina's surgery, says of the stunning star (as reported by People).

She adds the mother of six "waited to find the perfect timing in her personal and professional life, but I think most importantly in her soul," before Brad Pitt's partner penned her op-ed for the New York Times.

In the deeply personal piece, Jolie revealed she underwent a preventive double mastectomy in February after doctors discovered she carried the "'faulty' gene" BRCA1 and had roughly an 87 percent risk of contracting breast cancer.

She also shared how she was told she has approximately a 50 percent risk (the actual number varies based on the individual) of developing ovarian cancer, and People later reported Angelina's plans to have her ovaries removed.

In addition to discussing Angie's decision, Dr. Funk notes that breasts are a part of woman's identity, which is why Jolie—who has always been admired for her beauty—touched so many women who are struggling with the surgery.

"When someone who is arguably the most beautiful woman in the world removes the part of her body that is symbolic of femininity and sexuality, you have to say, 'Why would she do that?'" Funk explains.

Jolie's mother, Marcheline Bertrand, lost her battle to ovarian cancer in 2007 at the age of 56, and the mother of six wrote it's "reassuring" for her children to know they won't lose their mother to the disease.

And while it was Angie's choice to go public with a very private part of her life, Dr. Funk says the inspirational star couldn't deny her inherent desire to help others.

"She knew always that in her philanthropic core she couldn't keep this a secret and be who she is," Funk tells L.A. mag.

"I feel great, I feel wonderful, and I'm very, very grateful for all the support," the actress told reporters at her first red carpet appearance post-surgery. "It's meant a lot to me."

She added: "I've been very happy just to see the discussion about women's health expanded, and that means the world to me. And after losing my mom to these issues, I am very grateful for it. And I've been very moved by the support of people."