The model and the mastectomy: Baring scars then and now

For those women who had mastectomies between 1998 and 2008 -- the most recent data -- the number who got immediate breast reconstruction nearly doubled, from 20 percent to nearly 40 percent, driven by a 200 percent increase in implant use.

Since 1998, federal law has required that if a woman's health insurance pays for a mastectomy, it must also pay for reconstruction. Implants are the most popular option. Millions of women are happy with theirs, but there are health risks associated with any reconstruction.

For more than 20 years, Matuschka held out, her missing breast remaining a subject in her art. But as her body changed, so did her self esteem.

"The world is never going to really embrace a one-breasted fashionable chick," Matuschka said. "They're just not. They're not.

"People are looking at me like I'm, you know, a freak. It's alienating me more. I can't wear clothes...and I realized it's making my life miserable," she added.

Last month, at the age of 59, she prepared for the first of several surgeries to reconstruct her right breast and to reduce the size of her left.

Dr. Christina Ahn, an associate professor at New York University School of Medicine, performed the surgery. Ahn specializes in a state-of-the-art surgery that uses liposuction to extract fat. She then injects the fat into the breast area, and a new breast is created from Matuschka's own tissue -- no implant, and minimal scarring.

Twenty years after the photograph that shocked the world, Matuschka has finally moved on.

"I wake up and I just, I guess I have to say I feel normal, if that word could ever be applied to me," she told Teichner, adding, "I definitely feel happier."