DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction

DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction

A natural approach to breast reconstruction

DIEP flap surgery uses the fat and skin from your abdomen to make a new breast.

DIEP stands for “deep inferior epigastric perforator,” which is the blood supply to fat and skin of your abdomen. Your new breast is soft, warm, and feels just like the rest of your body, unlike an implant, which may feel stiff, cold, or firm. This surgery can be done with either one or both breasts, on women who are overweight, and women who are thin.

For some patients, we can connect the nerve from your new breast to the nerve in your chest, helping to create a breast that feels, both inside and out, like the breast removed during a mastectomy.

DIEP flap surgery uses the fat and skin from your abdomen to make a new breast.

DIEP stands for “deep inferior epigastric perforator,” which is the blood supply to fat and skin of your abdomen. Your new breast is soft, warm, and feels just like the rest of your body, unlike an implant, which may feel stiff, cold, or firm. This surgery can be done with either one or both breasts, on women who are overweight, and women who are thin.

For some patients, we can connect the nerve from your new breast to the nerve in your chest, helping to create a breast that feels, both inside and out, like the breast removed during a mastectomy.

Here at RPS, we work together as three expert surgeons, in addition to our large staff of nurses, physician assistants, and other team members.

What are the benefits of the team approach?

Your care will be holistic and guided by experienced hands. Every interaction, including each phone call and email, will be with one of our staff members trained to help you through this difficult time. You will have a community working together for you, rather than one physician working alone or a hospital whose care can often be impersonal.

DIEP Flap Reconstruction

What is a DIEP Flap?

A DIEP Flap, which stands for Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator flap, is a microsurgical technique performed by our highly skilled surgeons.

We use the fat from your tummy (the same fat that would be thrown away in a tummy tuck) to make one or two new breasts. Your new breast is warm, soft and living tissue from your tummy and is much more similar to your original breast prior to having a mastectomy than an implant would be. In some cases, when a patient has a relatively small tummy, we can use the entire abdomen to make one breast, also known as a stacked DIEP flap.

I never had breast reconstruction. Is it still possible to have a DIEP flap years after my mastectomy?

YES! Patients can have a DIEP flap years after their initial cancer surgery, especially if they have undergone radiation and would prefer a softer, more natural looking breast. This is called a delayed reconstruction. Research shows that patients who undergo a delayed reconstruction often have very high satisfaction rates with their procedures.

I already have breast reconstruction with implants. Can I still have a DIEP flap?

YES! Patient who had breast implants for reconstruction or who have had no reconstruction are both candidates for DIEP flaps. A DIEP flap can be performed at the time of a mastectomy or at any time afterwards.

What is the difference between a DIEP flap and a TRAM flap?

A TRAM flap (which stands for transverse abdominis muscle flap) involves taking the fat and muscle from the abdomen and using that to make a new breast. A DIEP flap takes the same fat but leaves the muscle behind and is a more technically difficult operation than a TRAM flap. Our expert surgeons carefully separate out the vessels from the muscles of your tummy, in order to preserve as much strength in your sit-up muscles as possible.

Please reach out to us at Rowe Plastic Surgery so we can meet with you – either virtually or in the office – to discuss with you all of your options.

DIEP flap surgery uses the fat and skin from your abdomen to make a new breast.

Is it possible to regain sensation in the breast or even the nipple after mastectomy?

YES! For patients who undergo DIEP flap surgery, we can also connect the nerve in the flap to the nerve in the chest. In some patients, this will create a breast or even a nipple that has sensation. Studies have shown that women who undergo breast reconstruction with their own tissue feel like their reconstructed breast is more a part of themselves than women who have implant reconstruction. Connecting the nerve supply makes that “feeling” even stronger!

I have lymphedema. Can anything be done for my lymphedema at the same time as my breast reconstruction?

YES! A DIEP flap can also be combined with a lymph node axillary or armpit reconstruction for patients with lymphedema. Please see our lymphedema page and talk to our surgeons to find out more.

Thank you for your thoroughness, kindness, compassion and your overall passion for what you do, without it I could not say that I am cancer free- and did I mention I have the tummy I have always wanted!!

“Thank you for your thoroughness, kindness, compassion and your overall passion for what you do, without it I could not say that I am cancer free- and did I mention I have the tummy I have always wanted!!”

I went for my mammogram, which detected dense tissue that had already been detected in previous mammograms but were of no concern – but to Dr. Pierce, it was. He then wanted an MRI guided biopsy. Within 3 days of having the biopsy done I received a call and was told it was cancerous and I needed to call a surgical oncologist. I was numb and terrified. Dr. Pierce was so caring and reassuring that he would be with me every step of the way. He referred me to Dr. Kohli, who also consulted with Dr. Pierce, and my options were either a lumpectomy or a bilateral mastectomy with a choice of either implants or a DIEP flap procedure. I opted for DIEP flap. At that point, Dr. Pierce informed me he does these procedures with Dr. Schneider who is also with Rowe Plastic Surgery. I met Dr. Schneider, who was so nice and again as was Dr. Pierce, very thorough in explaining the DIEP flap procedure and made sure I had a true understanding of what was going to be done. She went through everything from start to finish.

Reconstructive surgery is a big decision.

We’re here to answer any questions you may have and provide as many additional resources as we can to help you make an informed choice.

Return to your best self, naturally.

Learn more on your options and schedule a consultation with the RPS team.

Call Us Today (212) 628.7300 or us the form below.

Our Locations

New York
820 Park Avenue,
1B
New York, NY 10021

212-628-7300
Fax: 212-628-7302

Long Island
100 Manetto Hill Rd,
#204
Plainview, NY 11803

212-628-7300
Fax: 212-628-7302

New Jersey
89 Valley Road, 1st
Fl
Montclair, NJ 07042

732-852-2770
Fax: 732-852-2771

New Jersey
333 Broad Street,
1A
Red Bank, NJ 07701

732-852-2770
Fax: 732-852-2771

Hamptons
760 Montauk Highway, 1A
Water Mill, NY 11976

631-500-9090
Fax: 212-628-7302

New York
820 Park Avenue,
1B
New York, NY 10021
212-628-7300
Fax: 212-628-7302

Long Island
100 Manetto Hill Rd,
#204
Plainview, NY 11803
212-628-7300
Fax: 212-628-7302

New Jersey
89 Valley Road, 1st
Fl
Montclair, NJ 07042
732-852-2770
Fax: 732-852-2771

New Jersey
333 Broad Street,
1A
Red Bank, NJ 07701
732-852-2770
Fax: 732-852-2771

Hamptons
760 Montauk Highway, 1A
Water Mill, NY 11976
631-500-9090
Fax: 212-628-7302

Rowe Plastic Surgery