Posted April 27, 2021 in DIEP Flap Reconstruction | 3 minute read
Reconstructing a breast that has been removed due to cancer is one of the most rewarding surgeries available today. New procedures and medical techniques make it possible to create a mound that matches the appearance of your natural breast. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Warren Ellsworth provides methods like DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap reconstruction for women living in Houston, West Houston, or Katy, TX.
So what is a DIEP flap reconstruction, and what happens during recovery? How long will it take for scar tissue to heal? Many answers depend on your individual circumstances and cosmetic goals. If you have questions about this procedure, call the trusted team at Ellsworth Plastic Surgery and schedule a breast assessment. We can discuss your options and explore what’s best for you.
What is a DIEP flap reconstruction?
Many women discuss breast reconstruction surgery soon after they’ve been diagnosed with cancer. You’ll want to work with an experienced plastic surgeon and develop a strategy moving forward. Some women choose reconstructed breasts almost immediately after the cancer is removed, while others decide to wait. So what is a DIEP flap reconstruction?
DIEP flap surgery takes your own fat, skin, and blood vessels from the lower abdomen, purposefully leaving out the muscle. By preserving the abdominal wall, we reduce your risk of hernia and other complications following surgery. Dr. Ellsworth then performs microsurgery to attach the blood vessels. This allows your new breast tissue to stay healthy and natural-looking after recovery.
About DIEP flap scars
When you’re ready to begin breast reconstruction in Houston, West Houston, or Katy, TX, our staff can let you know what to expect in terms of potential DIEP flap scars. Dr. Ellsworth is always careful to place incisions in areas that minimize the appearance of scarring. Of course, some scarring is always inevitable. It may take a few weeks for incisions to initially heal, while scars could take several months or longer to fade away.
When you arrive for breast reconstruction in Houston, TX, you will receive detailed instructions about your post-operative care routine. We ask that all patients follow these guidelines to ensure proper healing and great results. This includes keeping your surgical dressings clean and dry for as long as directed. Dr. Ellsworth may remove or replace dressings as needed during a follow-up appointment.
Some factors can make scarring worse. For example, strenuous workouts tug at the skin and irritate the healing area. Patients should begin with light activities as instructed by our clinic. Remember to rest and get help from trusted family members and friends for movements that include any lifting or pulling. You can slowly incorporate heavier activities into your routine as the incision sites heal.
Learn about DIEP flap reconstruction
One of the most advanced techniques to reconstruct a breast after cancer is the DIEP flap. Dr. Warren Ellsworth takes your own abdominal skin and fat to create a natural-looking breast mound. If you are concerned about the recovery process or how long it takes for DIEP flap scars to heal, call Ellsworth Plastic Surgery for a consultation. Patients living in Houston, West Houston, or Katy, TX, can get the answers to their questions here.