An Advanced, Free-Flap Breast Reconstruction
A DIEP flap or deep inferior epigastric perforator flap is a breast reconstruction method that utilizes the area of skin and fat over the lower part of your belly to reconstruct a breast that looks and feels very natural and avoids the use of an implant.
Restore Your Breasts
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 about their body.
The DIEP Flap Breast reconstruction removes the excess skin and fat over the lower part of the belly between your belly button and pubic bone that is harvested with the blood vessels that supply this area of tissue. These blood vessels are disconnected from their original position and are reconnected to the recipient blood vessels in the chest. This is known as a free flap. The abdominal donor site is closed in a traditional tummy tuck fashion.
Patients who have undergone or will undergo a mastectomy often pursue reconstructive surgery to regain the beautifully contoured breast that was taken by surgery. DIEP flap breast reconstruction is an excellent operation for many patients but is not recommended for patients who:
Breast reconstruction can often be performed at the same time as a mastectomy. Other women choose to wait until they heal from the mastectomy and additional cancer treatments.
Washington DC DIEP flap breast reconstruction 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.
“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.”
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.
The answer to this will depend on your certain situation (need/history of radiation, desired breast size, skin laxity, etc) and is something that your surgeon will discuss with you. In some circumstances, your own tissue can be augmented with an implant or fat grafting to improve the shape and volume of your new reconstructed breasts.
For DIEP or free flap surgery, the procedure can take anywhere from 8-12+ hours if one or both breasts are being reconstructed and is usually followed by a 3-5 day hospital stay during which the newly reconstructed breasts can be monitored to ensure the blood flow is properly maintained.
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, blood clots, partial or complete flap loss, and anesthesia complications. These will be discussed in depth by Chevy Chase DIEP flap breast reconstruction providers, Dr. Feledy or Dr. Maiorino during your consultation.
Following a DIEP flap breast reconstruction Washington DC patients will have to sit, sleep, and walk in a slightly hunched position for the first few weeks after surgery until your skin relaxes. You’ll need to avoid any heavy lifting for a period of 6 weeks as well. You’ll be placed in a supportive/sports bra after surgery and will wear that continuously for the first 4-6 weeks to allow the breast reconstruction to heal. You’ll also be asked to avoid overhead activities for the same time period.
Schedule your consultation today
The surgeons at Belmont Plastic Surgery are here to help you take the next step on your aesthetic journey. Whether you want to restore what has been lost or improve upon what you already have, our surgeons will help you make the best possible choices for your care and deliver excellent results. Every day is an opportunity to live a more beautiful life. Seize your opportunity today with a consultation at Belmont Plastic Surgery.
5530 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 818, Chevy Chase MD 20815