DIEP flap is a type of breast reconstruction procedure that involves blood vessels that are called deep inferior epigastric perforators (DIEP). In this procedure, the DIEP, together with all connected skin and fat, are removed from the lower abdomen, and transferred to the chest using microsurgery, in order to reconstruct a breast after mastectomy.
A DIEP flap reconstruction surgery is a major, and not to mention, complex surgery.After the operation, one is likely to be advised to stay in the hospital for about 5 more days for careful monitoring.
It’s important to note that in a DIEP flap breast reconstruction, no muscle will be used to rebuild the breast. Because of this, the procedure is likely to have a higher rate of recovery among women. Moreover, it is also likely to have a lower occurrence of abdominal muscle weakness.
Because skin, fat, and blood vessels will be removed from the abdomen to be transferred to the chest, it is expected that the DIEP flap procedure will leave one’s abdomen flatter and tighter. It is also expected to leave a horizontal scar across one’s abdomen, as well as on the reconstructed breast, as these two are areas of incision.
When it comes to the recovery time, it usually takes about 6-8 weeks for the abdomen to completely heal. During this healing period, doctors typically recommend the use of a post-surgical compression girdle, which can promote healing both to the abdominal skin and tissues.
Once healed, no restrictions on physical activity are set. In fact, the DIEP flap procedure is known to promote a stronger abdominal wall, which is considered be favorable for pregnancy.
If you are considering having a DIEP flap reconstruction, the first thing you need to do is to inquire with the hospitals and plastic surgeons within your area. Remember that the DIEP flap procedure is highly specialized; thus, not all hospitals may be offering it, and not all doctors may be able to perform it.
If you are a resident of Texas, make an inquiry with Breast Reconstruction Associates. They are a group of DIEP flap surgeons from Texas, offering professional reconstructive surgery in Forth Worth, Dallas, and Austin.
What sets Breast Reconstruction Associates apart is that they are comprised of highly accomplished plastic surgeons, such as Dr. Habash and Dr. Boehmler, from Fort Worth.
Furthermore, Breast Reconstruction Associates also make use of the nipple-sparing mastectomy procedure, which provides highly cosmetic results without comprising the effectiveness of the procedure or the quality of cancer treatment.