Guide to Choosing the Best Hospital or Plastic Reconstructive Surgeon for the DIEP Flap Surgery

  What is a DIEP flap? DIEP stands for deep inferior epigastric perforator artery. This artery is an artery that runs through the abdomen. This artery is particular significant because in a DIEP flap, this blood vessel, together with the flap, fat, and skin of the abdomen, is moved up to the chest to rebuild the breast.   This means that the DIEP flap is a breast reconstruction surgery technique wherein skin and tissue (excluding the muscle) is taken from the abdomen to recreate the breast that has been removed after a mastectomy.   What are the considerations that I need to make in choosing a hospital or a reconstructive surgeon? Do take note that not all hospitals offer the DIEP procedure. In fact, this kind of procedure is relatively new in the world of plastic surgery, which is one of the reasons why only selected hospitals and selected doctors are currently offering it.   Another reason why not all hospitals offer the DIEP procedure is that that it is a highly specialized type of surgery. This procedure requires a doctor with a special surgical training, as well as an expertise in microsurgery in order to perform it. This is because the blood vessels of the flap from the abdomen need to be carefully attached to the blood vessels in the chest – and this is a rather complicated procedure, and it can only be performed through microsurgery.   And so, primary considerations in choosing a hospital or a set of doctors include two critical factors: first, the hospital or the set of doctors need to have access to...