DIEP Flap Reconstruction
DIEP stands for "Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforatorsis" which, simply put, means an advanced free-flap breast reconstruction technique that uses the patient’s own body tissues. Part of its name also means that the blood supply for the tissue flap is transferred from the abdomen to the new breast during surgery as well. This procedure is done in combination with a breast implant. It is one of several breast reconstruction procedures performed by Dr. Feledy, considered by many as the best breast reconstruction surgeon Washington DC has to offer.
“I couldn't even believe the result of my breast reconstruction from Dr. Feledy. Not only did the surgery help me feel more self-confident with my appearance, I felt like I got part of myself back.” —N.S.
View Dr. Feledy's DIEP flap reconstruction surgery before and after results. All images are actual patients.
DIEP Flap Surgery
What is a DIEP flap breast reconstruction?
The surgical removal of a breast, also known as mastectomy, can be a life-saving procedure for breast cancer patients. Unfortunately, mastectomy often leaves patients feeling incomplete and insecure. The DIEP Flap Breast reconstruction surgery allows breast cancer survivors to recover an important part of their womanhood by restoring the appearance of the breast.
DIEP flap breast reconstruction is one method of restoring the breast or breasts after a mastectomy has been performed and cancer has been removed. It utilizes the patients own tissue in combination with a breast implant to restore the shape and appearance of a breast that has been remove through mastectomy.
Am I a good candidate for DIEP flap breast reconstruction?
Patients who have undergone a mastectomy often pursue reconstructive surgery to regain the beautifully contoured breast that was taken by surgery. DIEP flap breast reconstruction is not recommended for patients who:
- Are obese
- Smoke cigarettes
- Suffer from psychological instability
- Have had previous surgery on the abdomen
- When should I consider this surgery?
Breast reconstruction can often be performed at the same time as mastectomy. Other women choose to wait until they heal from the mastectomy and additional cancer treatments.
Should I use silicone or saline implant?
DIEP flap reconstruction techniques almost always require a breast implant to complete the appearance of the breast. Saline implants, which are filled with a saltwater solution, can be filled to varying amounts, while silicone implants feel more natural and are filled with silicone gel. The choice between different types of breast implants is important and should be discussed with Dr. Feledy.
DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction Before & After Photos
See Belmont Plastic Surgery's DIEP flap reconstruction before and after results. It is important to look at before and after images to get an idea of what can be achieved with a surgery and to help guide the process with the doctor of determining the outcome you are going for.
What happens during surgery?
After anesthesia has been administered, Dr. Feledy will surgically remove tissue from your abdomen and graft it to the breast site. He will then place a breast implant to create a breast mount. After the structures of the new breast are in place, he will use techniques that reconstruct the nipple and areola, and suture the incisions.
What are the risks of DIEP flap breast reconstruction?
All surgeries carry a measure of risk that can be minimized by a qualified surgeon. The risks of this procedure include bleeding, infection, poor healing of incisions, and anesthesia complications. Be sure to discuss these with your doctor during your consultation.
What happens after the surgery?
Dr. Feledy may place a temporary fluid drainage tube under the skin. Gauze or bandages are applied to your incisions, and you will receive an elastic bandage or support bra to minimize swelling and unnecessary movement. Healing will continue over the course of a month as swelling decreases and the breast shape improves. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions and have regular follow-up visits to verify the health of your new breast.
What results can I expect?
Patients should know that reconstructed breasts will not have the same appearance or feel as the old breast. Faint scars will always be visible wherever surgical incisions have been made. Most women feel that these are a small price to pay when considering the physical and emotional benefits of DIEP flap breast reconstruction in Washington DC.