Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP) Flap Reconstruction
A Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP) flap procedure uses fat and skin from the lower abdomen to reconstruct the resemblance of a natural breast after mastectomy.
The DIEP flap preserves the abdominal muscles; the end result of this procedure is essentially a "tummy tuck." Due to this, patients might experience less pain after surgery and enjoy a faster recovery as well as experience little to no loss of abdominal strength.
The DIEP flap procedure is a natural choice for breast reconstruction since the tissue of the abdomen mimics that of breast tissue. In this procedure, the fat and skin from the abdomen are used to create a breast – the tissue and accompanying blood vessels are attached using microsurgery at the new breast site.
The end result is a breast incision that is circular or oval; the skin within the scar was once from your abdomen. The abdominal scar will run from the hip bone, down near the pubic bone and up to the opposite hip bone; this may be concealed by undergarments.
Unlike the TRAM flap procedure, the abdominal muscles remain intact. With a DIEP flap, patients experience less pain after surgery, a quicker recovery and little to no loss of abdominal strength long-term, all with the added benefit of a "tummy tuck."