The DIEP flap breast reconstruction is an excellent option for those patients that desire to use their own tissue to reconstruct their breasts following a mastectomy. The incision across the abdomen resembles an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) incision. However, the breast incision pattern will vary from patient to patient. Most often the biggest determining factor is if the patient has had prior radiation to the chest and the degree of radiation damage. Typically, the more severe the radiation damage is there is a higher likelihood of having a larger skin paddle (abdominal skin) exposed. The most common breast incision patterns with DIEP flap breast reconstruction are a “buried” flap (the entire abdominal tissue is under the mastectomy skin), mastopexy (breast lift) incision, or a skin paddle (varying size/shape of exposed abdominal tissue, which is patient specific). To determine your specific incision pattern a physical exam will be conducted by one of our plastic surgeons to develop a patient specific surgical plan.