DIEP FLAP BREAST RECONSTRUCTION PROCEDURE & SURGERY: THE BASICS
The DIEP Flap procedure truly revolutionized breast reconstruction surgery when it was introduced over 20 years ago. Up until that time, women’s best options for breast reconstruction involved the use of implants.
If women wanted to use their own body tissue (autologous reconstruction), they had to sacrifice a major muscle in their body. With the advent of the DIEP, which stands for deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap, the patient could have a natural, normal looking and feeling breast reconstruction, using her own body tissue WITHOUT the sacrifice of a major muscle.
DIEP Flap Procedure Illustration:
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SIEA Flap Procedure Illustration:
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Surgical Delay with DIEP and SIEA PROCEDURE
We are using a surgical delay procedure to increase the reliability and the amount of tissue that we can harvest from the abdomen with either a DIEP or SIEA flap procedure. After doing this short outpatient procedure approximately one week prior to the definitive breast reconstruction, the patient will experience a quicker operation with less recovery time and less pain postoperatively.
Are you a candidate for DIEP Flap Surgery?
Most women with breast cancer have enough skin and fat in the stomach area (lower abdomen) to reconstruct one or two breasts. Even for patients who have had prior abdominal surgery, almost everyone is a candidate for this operation. The idea is to use extra skin and fat in the lower abdominal area, take this tissue along with the blood vessel that supplies it, and transplant it to the chest to make new, natural breast.
Usually, when a woman donates tissue from the abdomen, this has the same effect on the abdomen as a tummy tuck.
DIEP Flap Recovery:
Gradually, blood vessels and nerves grow into the transferred tissue. Scars fade, and the end result is a breast reconstruction that looks and feels and behaves exactly like a normal breast. The only difference is that there is no breast tissue inside it, and therefore no risk of breast cancer in the transferred tissue.
VIEW OUR BEFORE & AFTER DIEP BREAST RECONSTRUCTION PICTURES
The photographs in this section are of actual patients of Dr. Joshua Levine. They have undergone various types of autologous breast reconstruction (perforator free flaps), i.e. DIEP/SIEA, PAP, GAP, delayed, immediate, with nipple-sparing mastectomy, etc. Keep in mind that each patient is unique and results may vary. To view more before & after photos, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.