What Advantages Does DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction Offer?
Posted Mar 09 2012 3:52am
Women who have had a mastectomy go in for reconstruction surgery to restore the shape of their breasts. There are many options available, but the one that has rapidly gained acceptance as the standard of care due to the many advantages it offers is DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction.
The DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap procedure involves autologous reconstruction which uses your own body’s tissue to reconstruct your breast(s). The surgery can only be performed by a plastic surgeon skilled in microsurgery. In the procedure, abdominal fat and skin are harvested, transferred and used to recreate the breast mound. Compared to other methods, DIEP flap breast reconstruction offers many advantages: • Long-lasting results: Autologous reconstruction is a better option than breast implants as it uses your own tissue which the body will not reject. Implant risks such as leaks and ruptures can be avoided. DIEP flap surgery ensures long-lasting results. • Natural feel: The recreated breast feels and looks like a natural breast. Patient satisfaction is therefore ensured. • Preserves abdominal strength: The surgery does not sacrifice abdominal muscle and wall strength. As no abdominal muscle is affected or removed, it avoids the risks associated with herniation. • Offers tummy tuck effects: The removal of fatty tissue from the abdominal area offers the patient a sleeker looking tummy. • Reduced post-surgery pain: Compared to other breast reconstruction techniques such as pedicled and TRAM flaps, DIEP flap involves less post-surgery pain. • Short hospital stay: Recovery is relatively fast and hospital stays are as short as 3-4 days. • Suitable for certain sub-sets of patients: This breast reconstruction procedure is suitable for obese individuals, those who have had previous abdominal surgery, physically active women, those with bilateral reconstruction, irradiated women or those for whom other modalities have not worked. • Can be performed in conjunction with breast removal surgery: DIEP flap reconstruction can be performed immediately after the mastectomy or when the tissues have healed, depending on the health of the patient.
Thus, the state-of-the-art DIEP flap reconstruction technique provides the best long-term aesthetic results with minimal complications and therefore ensures enhanced patient satisfaction. In most cases, the surgeon may need to create the areola and recreate or augment the nipple. Symmetry of the breasts is important, too.
The Right Surgeon for Successful Breast Reconstruction Surgery
To reap all the advantages of DIEP flap breast reconstruction and ensure success, it is necessary that you find the right plastic surgeon. The surgeon should be board-certified and the surgery, AAAASF-certified. It’s important that the specialist is skilled as well as has sufficient experience in performing this particular procedure. Make sure you are comfortable with your surgeon and that he/she is sensitive to your requirements.