Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap
DIEP is an advanced free-flap breast reconstruction technique that uses the patient’s own body tissues. The surgery is named after the Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator, the blood supply for the tissue flap.
DIEP involves the transfer of tissue from the abdomen to the new breast. It is one of several free flap breast reconstruction procedures performed at UCI Plastic Surgery in Orange County, CA.
Reasons to Choose DIEP Breast Reconstruction
Many breast reconstruction candidates can consider DIEP flap breast reconstruction. The procedure has been used for reconstruction after:
- Lumpectomy defects
- Congenital breast deficiency
DIEP flap breast reconstruction is not recommended for patients who are obese, cigarette smokers, those who are psychologically unstable, or those who have had previous surgery on the abdomen.
FAQ About DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction in Orange County
Here are some basic answers to questions about DIEP flap breast reconstruction at UCI Plastic Surgery. If you have a question regarding this procedure, please contact our Orange County plastic surgery offices today. We have five locations in the Orange County area including: Tustin, Orange, Newport Beach, Yorba Linda and Costa Mesa, CA. Our offices are located in the city of Orange, just a short drive from Los Angeles, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Garden Grove and other nearby cities of Southern California.
During a DIEP flap procedure, the surgeon removes lower abdominal tissue from the navel down. The tissue is then isolated with the feeding blood vessels (deep inferior epigastric perforators). With skin and fat, they are detached and relocated to the chest wall. The surgeon then connects the blood vessels to vessels that are located at the chest wall, allowing the tissue flap to survive in a new location.
Several key benefits are offered with the DIEP flap procedure. Unlike other flap techniques, there’s no need to sacrifice the abdominal muscle tissue, which minimizes post-operative abdominal weakness and discomfort. There’s also a decreased risk of hernia formation. There are also aesthetic benefits similar to a tummy tuck.
After a DIEP flap breast reconstruction, patients typically spend three to five days in the hospital. They can usually walk around after the first day of recovery. There may be surgical drains that are in place for about one to two weeks. Your surgeon at UCI Plastic Surgery can provide specific details about your recovery from DIEP flap breast reconstruction.
In some cases, reconstruction of the nipple is performed in a subsequent procedure. This may be several weeks after the surgery. Patients may also need revision procedures, which are less involved than the initial operation.
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