Angelina Jolie's decision to have both breasts removed to prevent cancer may cause some women to underestimate the pain and risks involved.
Former model Matuschka made history in 1993 when The New York Times' Sunday Magazine showed her mastectomy scar on the cover.
"Having a breast removed is a big thing and reconstruction is no picnic," said Matuschka. "I'm still trying to get reconstruction 22 years later."
She says she discovered that her mastectomy wasn't even necessary and that removing breasts won't always prevent breast cancer.
Matuschka said, "That's the scary part. You can go through all this and still end up with breast cancer."
Michelle Martineau had a double mastectomy similar to Angelina Jolie's and has documented her painful three-year-long medical odyssey in a video diary she posted on YouTube.
Martineau told INSIDE EDITION's Megan Alexander via Skype that a long series of surgeries were more painful than she ever expected.
"I remember standing in the bathroom and just sobbing after one of the repair surgeries because I have never hurt so much. And you can't be prepared for that, no matter what anybody tells you," said Martineau.
ABC News' Chief Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser says there are much less drastic options available than the one Angelina Jolie chose.
ABC News' Chief Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser told INSIDE EDITION, "You have to really weigh the benefits in terms of preventing breast cancer with the risks of having the operation. You can just get checked very regularly with annual mammograms or twice a year mammograms. You can go on certain medications to reduce the chance that you'll get breast cancer. Or you can do what Angelina Jolie did."