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Uploaded on Oct 26, 2011

A woman undergoing mastectomy fears not only cancer but also pain and deformity. Being able to choose breast reconstruction offers her the hope to restore...

To restore what she has lost to mastectomy and promote her physical healing...

To restore her inner sense of peace and open the door to her emotional healing...

As a plastic surgeon who specializes in post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, I witness this every day.

I now create life cast sculptures of some of my mastectomy and breast reconstruction patients. These sculptures capture a moment in the recovery and reconstruction journey of each of these patients. Like the process of breast reconstruction, which often takes more than one surgical procedure, creating a life cast requires multiple stages and many hours of work. The final life cast is the culmination of a process that begins with a mold created from the woman's torso. I then refine the plaster cast made from each mold before creating a permanent mold. This is followed by a final life cast sculpture like those seen in this documentary.

While these sculptures capture a moment of emergence for these women, their journey of healing continues. I created these sculptures to heighten awareness about, and provide a tangible understanding of, what it means to undergo mastectomy and reconstruction. I hope that these completed life cast sculptures will also offer a sense of hope and inspiration to women coping with breast cancer everywhere.

Ron Israeli, M.D.


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