Each year, more than 100,000 women undergo some form of mastectomy in the United States, according to Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
More American women may also be seeking reconstruction after that surgery, reported the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The organization found that number of women seeking reconstruction rose from 62% from 2009 to 2014.
While many reconstruction options are available, the DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) flap breast reconstruction has emerged as one of the best.
This advanced surgical procedure uses a patient’s own tissue to create a natural and reconstructed breast after a mastectomy.
Patient Evaluation and Planning
The journey toward DIEP flap breast reconstruction begins with a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical history, including their general health and personal preferences.
A surgeon specializing in breast reconstruction assesses the patient’s suitability for the procedure, then discusses the possible outcomes, risks, and alternative options. This consultation lays a foundation for personalized treatment that meets the unique needs each patient.
Tissue Harvesting and Microvascular Anastomosis
During the DIEP flap procedure, tissue is harvested from the lower abdomen, sparing the abdominal muscles.
The surgeon isolates the deep inferior epigastric artery and vein, along with the surrounding skin and fat. This ensures a sufficient blood supply for the transferred tissue.
After that, our specialists employ microvascular anastomosis techniques, which meticulously reconnect the deep inferior epigastric vessels to recipient vessels in the chest. This step is both intricate and crucial as it establishes proper blood flow and ensures the viability of the reconstructed breast.
Shaping and Reconstruction, Incision Closure, and Recovery
After successfully completing the microvascular anastomosis (a surgical connection between two structures), the surgeon sculpts the transferred tissue to recreate a natural-looking breast.
At this stage, the surgeon focuses on symmetry, contour, and positioning for the optimal aesthetic outcome.
Once the shaping and reconstruction are complete, the incisions are meticulously closed, and appropriate dressings or compression garments may be applied to facilitate healing and minimize swelling.
Learn More With a Free Virtual Consultation
During your consultation, we can guide you through the process, listen to your concerns, and determine if DIEP flap breast reconstruction is the best option. Feel free to call us at (850) 318-3038.