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DIEP Flaps

Breast reconstruction should involve a complete team of individuals including a general surgeon, your plastic surgeon, your surgical team, an anesthesiologist, and possibly a breast radiologist. Our team at Florida Plastic Surgery Group will create a customized approach for your DIEP Flap (deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap) breast reconstruction. If you are considering DIEP Flap breast reconstruction, our practice has created microsurgical centers for breast reconstruction at two different hospitals and has performed the DIEP Flap surgery successful on many patients.

During this procedure, DIEP flaps (deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap) are harvested by taking the skin and fat from the abdomen and carefully dissecting the blood vessels that keep it alive. After the skin and fat is detached from the lower abdomen, it is placed onto the chest and artistically molded to recreate the breast. Microsurgery is used to attach arteries and veins to help restore the blood flow. Microsurgical breast reconstruction has a high success rate (> 95%) and provides soft, pliable skin and fat to help create a natural look and feel.

The main advantage of the DIEP Flap technique is that while skin and fat is removed, the muscle left behind remains completely intact. This procedure preserves your abdominal wall strength and minimizes the chance of developing an abdominal wall bulge.

Most insurance companies do cover the DIEP Flap breast reconstruction and we preauthorize all the procedures prior to surgery to ensure insurance coverage.

Who is a candidate for DIEP Flap breast reconstruction?

Patients that are non-smokers and that have a moderate amount of abdominal wall skin and fat are excellent candidates for DIEP Flap breast reconstruction. You may be asked to obtain a special CT SCAN to evaluate your blood vessels prior to surgery.

Recovery After Your DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction

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Patients are usually monitored every hour for the first 2 days to ensure adequate blood flow to the flaps. Patients are also encouraged to walk on the first day and take blood thinners to prevent clotting.

The total hospitalization time ranges from 4-7 days depending on the speed of your recovery. Patients are asked to wear an abdominal binder for 6 weeks and to avoid any heavy lifting until the healing process is complete.

To learn more about DIEP Flap breast reconstruction and how our plastic surgeons can help you achieve your post-mastectomy goals, please contact a member of our staff to schedule a consultation.

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