DIEP Flap Reconstruction
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.
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
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!
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.
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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.