Posted December 28, 2020 in DIEP Flap Reconstruction | 3 minute read
When it comes to modern breast reconstruction, there are many options to choose from. While implant-based reconstruction is common, some women prefer to use their own natural tissue. Soft tissue reconstruction through DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) flap surgery is a smart and effective alternative.
During DIEP flap reconstruction, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Warren Ellsworth uses tissue from the abdomen to reform the breasts. So, where are incisions made in the DIEP flap procedure? If you live in Houston, West Houston, or Katy, TX, consult with the experts at Ellsworth Plastic Surgery. We can determine if this technique is right for you.
DIEP flap procedure consultation
During your initial assessment, Dr. Ellsworth will work with you to understand your treatment goals. Most women seek breast reconstruction following a mastectomy or lumpectomy. If you are a breast cancer survivor, we can communicate with your oncologist and other primary care physicians to make sure your procedure is safe and successful.
DIEP flap surgery is autologous, meaning that we take tissue from another part of the body to complete breast reconstruction. Specifically, we use skin, fat, and blood vessels from the lower abdomen. Some of the best candidates for DIEP reconstruction include women who:
- Have excess tissue in the lower abdominal region
- Have realistic expectations for the results and outcomes
- Want results that look and feel more natural than implants
How DIEP flap reconstruction works
After preparing you for your DIEP flap procedure, Ellsworth Plastic Surgery begins the surgery by placing a small, low incision along the abdomen. Usually, the incision is made in a discrete location along the bikini line. The soft tissue and blood vessels are then removed from the abdomen and attached to the vessels at the mastectomy site. Once the vessels are attached, the flap is reshaped to form a soft and natural breast.
One of the most notable aspects of DIEP flap reconstruction is that we specifically leave out the abdominal muscle during surgery. This allows patients to heal more quickly during recovery, preserving their core strength and abdominal muscle function.
DIEP flap breast reconstruction recovery time
Patients are placed in a recovery room for monitoring following DIEP flap surgery. Our staff can review some post-surgical information with you, including potential side effects and DIEP flap breast reconstruction recovery time. It is normal to experience some swelling and bruising at the incision site as well as the reconstructed breast. The great news is that recovery tends to be faster and more comfortable when compared to other flap techniques.
Breast reconstruction using your own natural tissue
Breast reconstruction after a mastectomy or lumpectomy is a personal choice. When it comes to getting a DIEP flap procedure, your decision depends on personal preferences, overall health, and other factors. At Ellsworth Plastic Surgery, we have seen how breast reconstruction can improve the well-being and quality of life of our patients.
Dr. Warren Ellsworth can discuss the pros and cons of this surgery when you schedule a consultation in our office. If you live in Houston, West Houston, or Katy, TX, call us for your appointment. We can review details, such as DIEP flap breast reconstruction recovery time, incision placement, and more.