Breast Cancer Options: DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction overview

What is DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction?

DIEP Flap breast reconstruction is an advanced surgical procedure that utilizes a layer of tissue from the lower abdominal area, including skin, fat, and blood vessels. The flap is then redistributed to the chest. The plastic surgeon then attaches the tissue to the tissue of the chest. From there, the breast is reconstructed using a microscope. This intricate operation offers numerous advantages, including a leaner look, more youthful breast, preserved core strength, and a swift healing process.

DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery is still a fairly new procedure and not everyone has the necessary expertise to conduct the surgery in a safe manner. Nonetheless, because of its numerous advantages, DIEP is rapidly becoming recognized as the cutting-edge treatment option for breast cancer survivors.

The following are some benefits of getting DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery:

  • It provides natural-looking breasts.
  • You will have an abdomen that is much flatter.
  • You will have a speedier healing time.
  • You will have minimal pain.
  • It will reduce your chances of a hernia.
  • It will prevent your muscles from failing.

If you are a breast cancer survivor, it could be necessary to undergo a DIEP Flap breast reconstruction surgery, to achieve the results you’re looking for.

How Do I Prepare for DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction?

If one of your breasts has recently been removed, your primary doctor probably may have already advised you to consult a cosmetic surgeon. It is critical that you consult a board-certified surgeon that is an expert in this type of surgical procedure. He or she will create the best plan of treatment for your specific situation.

Your cosmetic surgeon will discuss treatment alternatives with you. Additionally, they may show you photographs of those who have undergone various kinds of breast reconstruction.  Your overall health and body shape will influence which type of reconstruction is best for you. The plastic surgeon will also discuss anesthesia, the location of the procedure, and appointments after the surgery.

Even if your other breast is healthy, your surgeon may talk about the benefits and drawbacks of reshaping it to complement the newly reconstructed breast.

What Should I Expect During the Procedure?

Your new breast will most likely not look identical to your original breast.  Nevertheless, the reconstructed breast will show some resemblance to it. DIEP flap breast reconstruction is by far the most difficult alternative for breast reconstruction. To make a breast mound, your plastic surgeon will transfer a portion of muscle, skin, blood vessels, and fat from your own body to the breast area. To attain the ideal breast size, augmentation of the tissue as well as skin is completed with a breast implant, in some instances. DIEP flap breast reconstruction is by far the most difficult alternative for breast reconstruction. To make a breast mound, your plastic surgeon will transfer a portion of muscle, skin, blood vessels, and fat from your own body to the breast area. To attain the ideal breast size, augmentation of the tissue as well as skin is completed with a breast implant, in some instances.

What Can I Expect During Recovery?

For a couple of weeks following your surgery, you may feel exhausted and a significant amount of pain. Medication can be prescribed by your doctor to help you manage your pain. Drainage tubes may be used to help get rid of any extra fluids that have accumulated at the incision site.

A support bra or elastic bandage will be helpful in reducing swelling and healing of the breast. After your surgery, the surgical site will be sealed with absorbable sutures. So, your surgeon will not have to go back and remove them. You should expect some scarring but it will dissipate over time.  

Returning to regular activities could take up to a little over a month or longer. Your physician will notify you of any limitations to your daily activities. You will not be able to participate in vigorous exercise or lift heavy items. For some women, recovery is a very long process, taking a year or two before they completely heal.

Are There Other Alternatives Available?

There are numerous breast reconstruction alternatives available. For instance, tissue expanders can be used to achieve your desired results. The surgeon may place a temporary tissue expander within the breast area to rebuild the breast. This expander is used to help the patient achieve their target volume. Contact a plastic surgeon to learn more about the procedure.

Conclusion

DIEP flap breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure whereby your own tissue is used to reconstruct the breast. This procedure is ideal for those who’ve had a mastectomy and desire to lead a normal life once again. DIEP flap breast reconstruction will make the new breast appear more natural. Although the recovery process may take some time, the results are well worth it. If you desire this state-of-the-art procedure, contact a plastic surgeon with experience performing DIEP flap breast reconstruction.