DIEP Flap Surgery

Our fellowship-trained surgeons specialize in DIEP flap surgery for patients who need breast reconstruction care.

DIEP Flap Surgery

Our fellowship-trained surgeons specialize in DIEP flap surgery for patients who need breast reconstruction care.

Comprehensive DIEP Flap Surgery Care

Deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap surgery is a breast reconstruction procedure that uses abdominal tissue to rebuild a breast, generally after breast cancer surgery such as a mastectomy. DIEP flap procedures are a natural alternative to breast implants and offer the benefits of a long-lasting breast reconstruction and a contoured, aesthetic abdomen.

Our renowned team consists entirely of microvascular surgery fellowship-trained plastic surgeons who specialize in DIEP flap breast reconstruction. We work in close collaboration to ensure you have access to holistic breast reconstructive care 24/7.

During your consultation, we take the time to get to know you and answer all your questions so that you understand the range of surgical treatment options available, including natural tissue reconstruction and implant-based techniques.

We collaborate as members of the multidisciplinary breast cancer clinic to design a personalized surgical care plan that meets your unique needs and lifestyle. We also provide comprehensive post-mastectomy care, such as management and treatment of breast cancer-related lymphedema (arm swelling).

Our goal is to optimize your quality of life, psychological well-being and physical function after breast reconstruction.

Microsurgery Specialists for Breast Reconstruction

We are breast reconstructive surgeons who specialize in microsurgery, a technique that requires connections between small blood vessels to transplant tissue from the abdomen. We use techniques that spare the muscle and fascia (connective tissue that surrounds organs) to ensure a smoother recovery. Once you heal, the native tissue used during DIEP flap surgery to recreate the breast is with you for life.

Evidence-based Protocols for Surgical Recovery

As part of our patient-focused approach to care, your surgical treatment journey is co-managed, which helps us both prioritize your safety and maximize surgical efficiency. We offer patients an Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program, which provides evidence-based pathways for optimal recovery after surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Many patients are excellent candidates for DIEP flap breast reconstruction, which offers a natural and lasting reconstruction. This includes patients planning to undergo or who have already undergone mastectomy, as well as patients unhappy with their current breast reconstruction with implants. An ideal patient has sufficient abdominal tissue to ensure the desired breast size can be obtained. Patients who wish to avoid implants can benefit from this all-natural reconstructive operation. A consultation with one of our reconstructive surgeons is the best way to learn more about this procedure and whether it may be the best option for you.

You may self-refer or be referred to our team by other physicians, such as breast surgeons, oncologists or primary care providers.

We bring together a multidisciplinary team of highly experienced breast reconstructive microsurgeons, surgical oncologists, medical oncologists and breast cancer specialists to manage all aspects of your care journey. We also offer patients our Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program, which provides evidence-based pathways for expedient hospital discharge and optimal recovery after surgery.

After DIEP flap surgery, the hospitalization time is typically 3 days after surgery. At Keck Medicine, we offer the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program that prioritizes a smooth, comfortable hospital stay, reduces the use of narcotic pain medications and ensures high-quality patient outcomes.

No, abdominal muscles are spared in a DIEP flap, which minimizes post-operative abdominal weakness and discomfort.

Typical recovery time following a DIEP flap procedure is 6 weeks to 3 months, with most patients returning to full activity at 6 weeks.

The abdominal scar from a DIEP flap procedure is similar to a tummy tuck scar.

Additional surgery is entirely optional, as DIEP flaps provide a lasting reconstruction that will age with you, in contrast to implant-based breast reconstruction that requires implant exchanges and ongoing follow-up care. Nevertheless, many patients choose to undergo additional revisions, which are done in an outpatient setting where you go home the same day.

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