DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction - Less Pain, Short Recovery

in Flap

The DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforators) flap breast reconstruction procedure is an advanced plastic surgery procedure with many benefits including less pain and shorter recovery. It is a great achievement in autologous tissue transplantation. The DIEP flap surgery is an effective solution to help a woman who has undergone mastectomy get a new breast that mimics the natural breast both in appearance and touch.

About DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction Surgery

In the DIEP procedure, a flap of complete tissue comprising perforators (blood vessels), fat, and skin is taken from a woman’s lower abdomen to be used as donor tissue. This flap of donor tissue is taken to the chest area, to be reattached there. Using a microscope, the plastic surgeon would connect blood vessels from the flap to those in the chest to enable correct blood flow. The next step is the recreation of the nipple by utilizing a small portion of cartilage or local tissue flaps on the breast.

This revolutionary procedure does not make use of artificial implants. Hence, any chance of risk or complication is minimal. Though breast implants are generally thought to be safe, any procedure that involves insertion of foreign material into the person’s body carries risks. In the case of breast implants, there is a risk for capsular contracture. Coming to the aspect of less pain, it may be pointed out that this breast reconstruction surgery leaves the muscle under the flap intact. The incision in the muscle is only for facilitating access to blood vessels and not to take out any muscle tissue. Keeping the muscle intact helps to reduce the need for pain relievers, and also limits post-operative pain. An intact muscle also means reduced possibilities for hernia, and less abdominal weakness.

Shorter Recovery Time than Other Flap Reconstructive Surgeries

DIEP flap breast reconstruction has a shorter recovery time compared to other flap reconstructive surgeries. This is owing to the fact that no muscle is taken out of the abdominal region. Most patients recover completely within slightly more than a month’s time. After that, the patient can get back to her normal activities. One week post procedure, the patient can use the stairs. Labor intensive work should not be performed immediately as this could complicate or hinder the healing process. The patient would recover very well from surgery if she enjoyed exceptional health and was physically active before the procedure.

To ensure that you get the benefits you should from DIEP flap breast reconstruction such as less pain and short recovery, ensure the following:

•  That you approach a doctor who has experience in performing this specific procedure
•  That you find a doctor you feel comfortable with and not one who is impatient or business-minded

At your initial consultation, the doctor would first determine whether you are a candidate for the procedure. If you are, he would then get your approval to perform the procedure.

Author Box
Helen Wright has 40 articles online

Houston Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery Center provides a wide range of aesthetic and reconstructive surgical procedures. Dr. Boutros' goal is to provide excellence in treatment along with compassion of care. He is renowned for his expertise in breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and microtia. Dr. Boutros supports many charitable causes and provides services to children with facial disfigurements free of cost. For more details, visit http://www.drseanboutros.com/breast-augmentation.html

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DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction - Less Pain, Short Recovery

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This article was published on 2011/11/10