Women who have undergone mastectomy with or without other cancer interventions have options for various reconstruction approaches. Dr. Patel, using microsurgery techniques, offers DIEP flap surgery. Flap surgeries are characterized by the use of a woman’s own tissue to rebuild a natural-looking breast mound. DIEP, deep inferior epigastric perforators flap surgery is a sophisticated procedure that creates a complete flap using fat, skin, and blood vessels from a woman’s abdomen. Here, we discuss some of the reasons more women are seeking this corrective approach.
Natural-Looking and Feeling Breasts
Historically, breast reconstruction after mastectomy has involved breast implants. The mastectomy procedure may leave skin and a thin layer of fat that are then filled out with implants. In many cases, the result looks and feels relatively firm. The breasts can also feel cold to the touch, diminishing the natural sensation one expects. The DIEP flap of tissue houses the structures that the unaltered breasts had. Perhaps the most relevant are the blood vessels that help tissue integrate more cohesively. Additionally, using sensory nerve reconstruction, a surgeon may restore some degree of sensation to the breasts.
Some of the reasons women give for their interest in this technique include:
- Creating a breast mound from autologous tissue feels and looks natural.
- They prefer an organic material rather than breast implants, even if the result is a smaller breast mound.
- They want to avoid tissue expanders.
- They find the muscle-sparing harvesting of abdominal tissue an added benefit for body contouring.
Something that breast cancer survivors take into account is how much they have already been through before they begin their reconstruction journey. The DIEP flap reconstruction procedure achieves permanent results that do not require revision in the future. Breast implants are made to last a certain period. Women who have already been through mastectomy and chemotherapy or radiation say that they do not want to face any procedures that are not absolutely necessary once their reconstruction is complete. DIEP replaces like with like, which keeps results all-natural and eliminates the risk of implant failures such as rupture or capsular contracture.