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DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Posted Dec 01 2010 5:32am

Many women brave breast cancer and live a normal life after a partial or full mastectomy. For some, it can be emotionally stressful as they may sense a loss of personal identity. Fortunately, cosmetic surgery brings a ray of hope in the form of DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery for those who need to regain the shape and form of their breasts.

The DIEP Flap Procedure

DIEP stands for Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator which is also sometimes known as free flap microsurgery. It is a surgical process where autologous tissue is removed and introduced to the region of the chest where the breast is supposed to be located. Only some of the most experienced plastic surgeons perform this breast reconstruction procedure. The tissue to be used is taken from the abdominal area along with the inferior epigastric blood vessels and it is turned and moved towards the chest. The tissue is then repositioned and reshaped on the chest to mimic the breast with microsurgery, and the blood vessels supplying the DIEP flap are attached to those in the chest under a microscope.

Why Opt for DIEP Reconstruction?

Some of the advantages of this procedure are that it is considerably safe and involves only a short stay at the hospital. Apart from this, the risk of hernia or infection is greatly minimized as no muscle or fascia is removed from the abdominal region. There is minimal scarring and it is not very prominent. On the whole, the procedure doesn’t require a follow-up surgery unlike in the case of the procedure using implants. The results are permanent and provide a natural look and feel to the breasts. The removal of the skin and fat from the abdominal area also resemble the effects of a tummy tuck to the patient’s satisfaction.

Recovery and Resumption of Lifestyle

Patients who undergo DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery make a full recovery in six weeks’ time. They can go about their normal activities and resume a normal lifestyle as before. The procedure has a high rate of success and has restored the lost confidence in many patients by making them look as normal as anyone else.

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