How Does the DIEP Flap Method For Breast Reconstruction Work?

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For many years, Breast Reconstruction surgeries were akin to Breast Augmentation procedures; after a mastectomy, a plastic surgeon would use silicone or saline implants to reconstruct the patient’s breasts. However, exciting new surgical techniques and technologies have advanced Breast Reconstruction to the point where plastic surgeons can reconstruct the breast using the patient’s own living tissue.

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This Breast Reconstruction technique is known as the DIEP Flap method.  This surgery (which stands for Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) uses the patient’s fat and tissue from their abdomen to replicate breast tissue. It’s a truly exciting and innovative surgery, as the patient’s breasts end up feeling and looking like natural breasts.  Additionally, there’s virtually zero risk of rejection, as the body won’t reject its own fat and tissue.

The DIEP Flap reconstruction method is carried out using the following steps:

  • An incision is made along the bikini line, which allows the plastic surgeon to access abdominal fat and tissue (the incision is designed to minimize the appearance of scars).
  • The fat, tissue, and blood vessels are moved to the breast area and formed into the shape of a breast.
  • Your plastic surgeon will use a microscope to surgically attach the transferred blood vessels.

The entire surgery takes about 6 to 8 hours to perform, and will require a typical hospital stay of 3-5 days for recovery and monitoring..

In addition to producing natural-looking breasts, many patients enjoy experiencing a more contoured abdomen. The DIEP Flap method is an excellent surgery for women who’ve undergone a mastectomy or double mastectomy and are looking to reconstruct their breasts to look as natural as possible. Not everyone is a candidate, so it is important for you to discuss this option with a plastic surgeon who has a the expertise to perform them.

Leif Rogers, MD and Nima Naghshineh, MD MSc:  

Highly trained Plastic Surgeons, Leif Rogers and Nima Naghshineh have significant experience in Breast Reconstruction, particularly with DIEP Flap reconstruction. To learn more about this exciting Breast Reconstruction surgery, or to learn if you’re a candidate, or to schedule your consultation with our plastic surgeons, Dr. Leif Rogers and Dr. Nima Naghshineh, please fill out the form on this page or call our Beverly Hills or Pasadena office at (310) 860-8915.