What to Expect After a DIEP Flap Reconstruction
DIEP flap reconstruction is a surgical procedure used to reconstruct the breasts, usually after mastectomy. Here we will explain the procedure in detail, as well as what to expect afterward.
The DIEP flap procedure is performed under general anesthesia, so you will be asleep during surgery. During this procedure, only the skin, fat, and blood vessels from the lower abdominal region (similar to the tissue removed in a “tummy tuck”) are taken and used to rebuild a breast mound on the chest. This results in a soft breast mound that will last a lifetime.
After the surgery, you are expected to take it easy for a few days for the wound to heal. Give yourself ample time to recuperate from the surgery. Your doctor may advise you on when you can resume your normal activities. Tell your doctor about any complications, such as excessive bleeding, infection, or swelling. The new skin and tissue will take a few months to fully heal. There will be swelling, redness, and a bruise-like appearance for around eight weeks. The bruising should gradually subside after that period.
3. What to Expect After Reconstruction
The DIEP flap operation is performed in a hospital setting and you will take a few nights. You should plan to have a family member care for you as you recovery in the first several weeks after surgery. Most patients will have drains and these are typically removed within 2 weeks after surgery. You will be given pain medication for your recovery, and expected to take walks daily to ensure good circulation. It is important to follow your post operative instructions and avoid strenuous activity or exercise for at least 6- 8 weeks or until cleared by your surgeon.
4. Why Do I Need DIEP Flap Reconstruction?
DIEP flap reconstruction is the ideal procedure of choice for patients who have failed an implant reconstruction, or have issues from radiation damage to their chest wall skin and are poor candidates for implant reconstruction.
5. Tips For Quick Recovery
In order to ensure the best possible results be sure to follow your surgeon’s specific recovery instructions. Rest assured, you will have a separate visit with the team at Tucson Plastic Surgery prior to your surgery to review your specific post operative instructions and answer your questions.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are considering DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery in Tucson, AZ, Tucson Plastic Surgery has the latest state-of-the-art technology for this procedure, along with a dedicated staff to guide you through your recovery process. Board certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Mahabir and Dr. Kurtovic will listen to your needs and questions to ensure you are happy with the procedure. Fill out an online contact form on the website to schedule your consultation.