The DIEP Flap is one of the most innovative breast reconstruction techniques. This procedure requires the expertise of an experienced and highly trained plastic surgeon. The Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap procedure (DIEP Flap) is designed to take tissue from the abdomen to form a new breast mound. This microsurgical breast reconstruction technique allows patients to rebuild a natural-looking breast after mastectomy, while simultaneously undergoing a procedure akin to a tummy tuck. What distinguishes DIEP Flap breast reconstruction from other procedures, such as TRAM Flap surgery, is that DIEP Flap surgery keeps the abdominal muscles in place using microsurgical techniques to attach blood vessels in the transplanted skin to those in the chest area. Sparing the abdominal wall musculature may reduce abdominal problems associated with the more traditional techniques.
Our breast reconstruction surgeons at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group are some of the most experienced and well-trained in the region, many of whom have attained extended fellowship training in microsurgery and breast reconstruction from prestigious medical institutions such as the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic. Please contact LIPSG to schedule a consultation for DIEP Flap breast reconstruction surgery at our Long Island and Manhattan, New York-area facility.
Candidates for DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction
Candidates for DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction include:
- Patients who have a sufficient amount of tissue in the lower abdomen to create the new breast or breasts
- Patients who are very physically active and wish to preserve their abdominal muscles
- Patients who have had previous radiation therapy
- Patients who have had a previous implant reconstruction procedure with unsatisfactory results.
During the initial consultation with our plastic and reconstructive surgeons here at LIPSG, we will cover the many breast reconstruction options available. Doctors at LIPSG are considered some of the best on the eastern seaboard, and are experienced with the full range of breast reconstruction techniques. Our surgeons work with each patient, in addition to their oncologists, radiologists, and breast surgeons to form a collaborative partnership designed to give them the best possible care. Together, we rebuild our patients’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being, whether the breast reconstruction is performed in conjunction with a mastectomy or after recovery, by creating a treatment plan based entirely on the best interests of the patient.
The DIEP Flap Procedure
The DIEP Flap procedure is a complex technique that very few reconstructive surgeons are trained to perform. Here at LIPSG, our reconstructive surgeons are part of a small group of doctors in the country who have the experience, skills, and track record necessary to perform this procedure.
The DIEP Flap procedure is a technique that completely removes tissue from the abdomen and relocates it to form a new breast mound. That tissue is microsurgically connected to a new blood supply in the area where the breast will be rebuilt. Typically, the donor tissue will be connected to blood vessels near the sternum or in the armpit region. The abdomen is closed leaving an incision similar to that of a tummy tuck.
One of the chief advantages of this procedure is that fat and skin can be removed from the abdomen without having to use any of the underlying muscle. The blood supply to the new breast will be directed through perforator vessels that are taken from the rectus abdominis muscle (one of two such muscles that make up the abdominal wall), but the muscle itself will not be removed. This technique is known to be more complex than other breast reconstruction procedures; however, since the abdominal muscle is not being utilized in the tissue transfer, there is thought to be a lower risk of developing abdominal wall weakness or hernias than with the free or pedicled TRAM techniques.
DIEP Flap breast reconstruction typically takes anywhere from six to eight hours to complete, and is performed under general anesthesia.
Ready for a Consultation?
The DIEP Flap breast reconstruction procedure has proven to be one of the most effective techniques available due to the innovative capabilities of the microsurgical technique. Our doctors are not only experts in the field of breast reconstruction; they also understand the physical and emotional turmoil that breast cancer can cause. We will work with each patient to determine the best treatment options, and we look forward to answering any questions and addressing all concerns. With the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group, our patients can take comfort in the fact that our doctors are specialty-trained and have extensive experience in all breast reconstruction procedures available. For more information on the DIEP Flap breast reconstruction procedure at LIPSG, please contact our practice for a consultation.