DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction

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.

Breast and Nipple Sensation After Mastectomy

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 [ADD IN LINK] and talk to our surgeons to find out more.

With offices located at:
  • 820 Park Avenue, 1B New York, NY 10021
  • 71 East 77th Street, 1A New York, NY 10075
  • 100 Manetto Hill Road, #204 Plainview, NY 11803
  • 89 Valley Road, 1st Fl Montclair, NJ 07042
  • 760 Montauk Highway, 1A Water Mill, NY 11976
  • 333 Broad St,Ste 1A Red Bank, NJ

Schedule My Consultation

If you’re ready to schedule your DIEP flap breast reconstruction or simply want to learn more about the procedure, our doctors can give you the answers and reassurance you need to make the decision that’s right for you. To schedule your private consultation, call 212-628-7300.