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What is DIEP flap reconstruction?

A mastectomy or breast cancer diagnosis can be traumatic for both the patient and their loved ones. Fortunately, for many people they have the opportunity to reconstruct their breasts. There are several options for breast reconstruction, but we will be focusing on DIEP flap breast reconstruction at this time. DIEP stands for ‘deep inferior epigastric perforator’, which describes the blood vessels used to keep the flap/tissue alive when it is transferred from the abdomen to the breast. The lower abdomen tissue is obtained via an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) incision and the tissue is transferred to the breast/chest to reconstruct the breast. It is similar to its predecessor the TRAM flap, however the DIEP flap preserves the abdominal muscles allowing for an easier recovery. This type of breast reconstruction is also referred to as autologous (tissue obtained for the same individual) reconstruction. Breast reconstruction is the choice of the individual and the type of reconstruction will factor in the individual’s medical history, the need for radiation, and patient preference. Contact our office to schedule a consultation and see if you are a candidate for DIEP flap breast reconstruction.

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