The DIEP flap procedure is an autologous reconstruction which means that the patient’s own tissue is used to replace the breast. In this surgery, tissue from your stomach is moved to your breasts. Because this procedure uses fat and skin from your stomach and not muscles, it leaves less muscle weakness and causes fewer hernias.
Things to Consider in a DIEP Flap Procedure
Tissue from your belly for breast reconstruction can only be taken once. Undergoing the DIEP flap procedure will allow your stomach to lose some of its fat and excess skin, but will also leave a scar. There are also some benefits to this surgery. Because your own tissue is being used, your breasts will have a more natural look and feel to them. Your chances of developing hernias are also minimized because your muscles aren’t used. Sometimes, in fact, most of the time, the second procedure after your DIEP flap surgery will be necessary to add symmetry to your new breasts.
Who are Candidates for a DIEP Flap?
The most ideal candidate for this procedure has extra belly fat in the lower abdomen. But there are other options that may work for them. Most abdominal surgeries make not exclude you from DIEP flap surgery, but you should always bring it up and mention these to your plastic surgeon. An evaluation of your abdominal blood vessels will also be taken into account.
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What is Post-Recovery from a DIEP Flap Surgery Like?
You may need to stay an average of four to five days. Luckily, you’ll be able to consume food the next day and will start moving around late the next day with some patients needing some assistance. DIEP flap surgeon, Dr. Cara Downey will warn you against doing any heavy lifting or high-intensity activities. Soreness is expected for about two to four weeks. For more information on what your body will feel like after surgery, please discuss with your surgeon, as client feelings change and vary.
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