DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap)
The DIEP flap, which stands for Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap, is the most advanced form of breast reconstruction available today. The DIEP procedure uses the patient’s own abdominal skin and fat to reconstruct a natural, warm, soft breast after mastectomy.
In a DIEP flap, fat, skin, and blood vessels are cut from the wall of the lower belly and moved up to your chest to rebuild your breast. (In a properly performed DIEP, no muscle is cut or removed; if you’re having DIEP flap, make sure this will be the case.) Your surgeon carefully reattaches the blood vessels of the flap to blood vessels in your chest using microsurgical techniques.
Because no muscle is used, most women recover more quickly and have a lower risk of losing abdominal muscle strength with a DIEP flap compared to any of the TRAM flap procedures. Unlike the TRAM flap, the DIEP flap preserves all the abdominal muscles. Only abdominal skin and fat are removed; saving the abdominal muscles means patients experience less pain, enjoy a faster recovery, maintain their core strength long-term, and have a lower risk of complications.
- The DIEP flap is the most advanced form of breast reconstruction available today.
- The DIEP uses the patient’s own abdominal skin and fat to reconstruct a natural, warm, soft breast after mastectomy.
- Unlike the TRAM flap, the DIEP flap preserves all the abdominal muscles.
- Women also enjoy the added benefit of a flatter abdomen with results that mimic a “tummy tuck”.
- The risk of abdominal complications such as bulging and hernia is very small.
- A team of two microsurgeons performs every procedure.
- To learn if you are a DIEP flap candidate or to schedule a consultation, please contact us here or call us at (337) 269-4949.
- Since the DIEP-reconstructed breast is the patient’s own tissue, it can fluctuate in size with body weight, unlike a breast implant. This is particularly important in unilateral reconstruction.
- For patients who are not good candidates for the DIEP flap, there are alternative donor sites such as hips, inner thighs, etc.
Find out how to prepare for your surgery here.