DIEP Flap Reconstruction

Many women seeking breast reconstruction prefer to use their body’s own natural tissue rather than reconstructing the breasts with implants. During DIEP flap reconstruction, tissue from the abdomen is used to reform and reshape the breasts, resulting in a natural look and feel.

Dr. Bob Basu is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in tissue-based breast reconstruction. His experience performing DIEP flap reconstruction as well as his sensitive approach to each women seeking breast surgery after cancer make him a top choice among breast reconstruction surgeons in the Houston area.

Contact us online or call our office today at 713-799-2278 to schedule a consultation at Basu Plastic Surgery, conveniently located in three centers throughout Houston, Texas.

Why Consider DIEP Flap Reconstruction?

Many women choose DEIP flap reconstruction to reform the breasts after a mastectomy because the tissue from their own bodies helps create a very natural-feeling breast. Some of the best candidates for DIEP flap reconstruction include:

  • Women with naturally voluptuous breasts
  • Women who have ample tissue in their abdomen to use for reconstruction
  • Women who do not wish to have implants

DIEP Free-Flap Breast Reconstruction

Dr. Bob Basu is recognized as one of the best breast reconstruction surgeons in the Houston area. Here, he discusses the DIEP flap breast reconstruction method.

How Much Does DIEP Flap Reconstruction Cost?

Breast reconstruction is generally covered by health insurance, including all associated pre-op appointments and aftercare. Women can choose to have reconstruction immediately after a mastectomy or many years later, and their decision should not affect their coverage.

Your Options for DIEP Flap Reconstruction

DIEP flap reconstruction is a fairly straightforward procedure that uses only tissue from the abdomen to reconstruct the breast, sparing all abdominal muscle. Although one of several different options available for tissue-based reconstruction, DIEP flap reconstruction offers many specific advantages:

  • No muscle is taken from the abdomen
  • Maintain core strength and full muscle function after surgery
  • Recovery time tends to be faster and more comfortable compared to TRAM flap reconstruction
  • The risk for abdominal bulges and similar complications is lower
  • The abdominal incision is placed quite low
  • The abdomen can look flatter and slimmer after DIEP flap reconstruction

Finally, because the breast is reconstructed using your own skin and tissue, the results feel and look very natural.

A very small percentage of women may be candidates for the SIEP (Superficial Inferior Epigastric Artery) flap construction, which is a variation on DIEP flap reconstruction that does not require any incisions in the muscle and uses different blood vessels to supply the tissue. Women who have undergone some types of previous surgery, including a C-section or hysterectomy, may not have the blood vessels present for a successful SIEP flap reconstruction.

Many women choose to have flap reconstruction at the same time as their mastectomy while others prefer to wait before planning their breast reconstruction. The decision to have an immediate or delayed reconstruction is a personal one, and Dr. Basu can explain the advantages of each during your consultation.

Your Breast Reconstruction Surgery

During your initial consultation, Dr. Basu will work closely with you and your oncologist to determine if a DIEP flap reconstruction will best suit your needs and goals. Depending on your ideal results and whether one or both breasts are being reconstructed, Dr. Basu may suggest combining your flap reconstruction with other breast enhancement procedures for a more symmetrical outcome.

During a DIEP flap breast reconstruction procedure, a slim incision along the bikini line is made, much like that used for a tummy tuck. The necessary skin, soft tissue and tiny feeding blood vessels are removed. These tiny blood vessels are then matched to supplying vessels at the mastectomy site and reattached under a microscope. Dr. Basu carefully shapes a natural-looking breast mound before closing incisions with internal sutures.

Your Recovery & Results

During the recovery process, it’s normal to experience some swelling, bruising or discomfort in the reconstructed breast as well as in the abdominal area from where the donor tissue was taken. Dr. Basu will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions for maximum comfort.

After DIEP flap reconstruction for the breast mound, many women choose to have restoration of the nipple and areola later on. Depending on your desired outcome and the results of your initial breast reconstruction, more than one procedure may be necessary.

More DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction Resources

Schedule Your Consultation

To learn more about your options for DIEP flap breast reconstruction, contact us online or call our Houston office today at 713-799-2278.