20-year-old Kelly Rothe has reconstructive surgery after undergoing preventative double mastectomy

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) - At the age of 20, Kelly Rothe became the youngest woman who chose to undergo a preventative double mastectomy. 

She says right now, things are kind of settling down. She says she's content because it's just a part of her identity. According to her, it's been the best year of her life.

Three months ago, Kelly became the youngest patient at Beaumont Hospital to have a double mastectomy, after doctors discovered she carried the BRCA1 gene. That means her lifetime risk of breast cancer was at 87%.

Her mother and aunt had already died from the disease.

Kelly's doctor spoke with 7 Action News. Last Thursday, Dr. Mike Meininger took out the tissue expanders he put in during the original surgery, and replaced them with a permanent device.

He says that Kelly is unique because she decided to do it now, instead of later. According to Dr. Meininger, she was eventually going to have to have the surgery.

"You would never know that I don't have any nerves or any feeling or any breast tissue left. I think that even if I chose no reconstruction, I would be happy and I would be content because I got rid of the thing that was going to kill me," Kelly said.

Kelly says other women need to know their options, and never live in fear. Instead, look forward to the gifts that lie ahead.

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