Autologous Breast Reconstruction with The DIEP Flap Procedure

When autologous breast reconstruction is performed, Dr. Srinivasa is able to transplant healthy skin, fat, and blood vessels—collectively described as a “tissue flap”—from one area of the body to your chest, where it will be used to recreate a natural-appearing and feeling breast mound. Autologous breast reconstruction can be performed utilizing tissue flaps that can be harvested from a number of different parts of the body. As such, your body type will go a long way towards helping Dr. Srinivasa decide which is the best method for your breast reconstruction.

The DIEP flap procedure specifically utilizes a tissue flap harvested from the lower abdominal area, making it a favorite among patients who have extra fat in the tummy. Additionally, nerves can be taken along with the flap and connected to nerves in the chest to improve sensation after mastectomy. To learn more about how this procedure can benefit you, reach out to the Institute for Advanced Breast Reconstruction at our Los Angeles or Calabasas offices, and begin your journey to true recovery today.

DIEP Flap Procedure Explained 

with Dr. Srinivasa

Marcia's DIEP Flap Testimonial

Is The DIEP Flap Method Right for Me?

The DIEP flap procedure is referred to as a “muscle-sparing” procedure as it does not require removing the abdominal muscle to create the new breast mound. Not only does this lower the risk of lost abdominal muscle strength, but it also improves your post-surgical recovery period by avoiding major structural loss in the muscles of your abdomen. Dr. Srinivasa utilizes cutting-edge imaging technology specifically protocoled to give her millimeter accuracy in the location of blood vessels. She uses this like a GPS to best preserve every muscle fiber possible and just take the blood vessels, skin, and fat. This helps tremendously in achieving an optimal cosmetic appearance in the abdomen.

This procedure is perfect for patients with ample tissue in the belly or abdominal area, as it comes with the “silver lining” benefit of a closure very similar to a tummy tuck. Thanks to the use of excess tissue and skin from the donor area, you’ll be left with a flatter, more toned tummy after your reconstruction procedure. During your consultation, we’ll walk you through your various reconstruction options, and help you pick out the procedure that is right for you. Given that the DIEP flap procedure requires ample tissue in the donor area (which is the abdomen), your body type will go a long way towards determining which procedure is the right one for you. If you have had a previous tummy tuck, Dr. Srinivasa can discuss with you the numerous other options for using your own tissue such as the thighs and buttock. 

When to Consider Other Reconstruction Methods

This particular procedure is not always the right fit for a given patient, which is why we’re pleased to be offering such a robust selection of breast reconstruction options. If you’re not right for the DIEP flap procedure, we’ll work closely with you to determine which method will be ideal.

Some patients might not have enough extra tissue in the belly or abdomen for this procedure to be a viable option. In other cases, previous abdominal surgeries can limit a particular patient’s candidacy for the DIEP flap reconstruction method. That said, Dr. Srinivasa employs a variety of cutting-edge techniques to safely perform DIEP flaps even if you have had previous liposuction or abdominal surgery. If you’re not right for the DIEP flap procedure, Dr. Srinivasa will guide you to the right option.

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Creating the Life-Changing Results You Deserve

The Institute for Advanced Breast Reconstruction is proud to be offering a wide variety of reconstruction techniques, enabling you to enjoy the results you deserve via a procedure that is suited to your body type and tailored to your personal aesthetic goals. One of the greatest benefits of a DIEP flap (and any procedure where your own tissue is used) is that once you are healed, you never have to worry about your reconstruction. It is distinctly different from an implant: no chance of rupture, leak, or scar tissue causing pain and deformity. DIEP flaps don’t just give you a natural and aesthetic reconstruction, it gives you the gift of truly being able to move on from your cancer diagnosis and enjoy your life.

During your consultation with Dr. Srinivasa, you’ll go over everything you might need to know about your upcoming procedure. You’ll walk through everything from incision placement and post-surgical scarring to your aftercare instructions and more. You’ll have the chance to ask just about any questions you might have, as Dr. Srinivasa is here to ensure that you’re as well-informed as possible.

Recovery After Your Reconstruction Procedure

After your surgery is complete, you’ll likely need to stay in the hospital for two to three days. Your full recovery will take between six and eight weeks, and Dr. Srinivasa will give you detailed information about what kind of timeline you can realistically expect. On average, it takes six weeks to return to activities involving physical exertion such as working out. That said, in some cases, it can take up to a full year for the tissues in the treatment area to loosen from the scar tissue and for scars to fully fade. Dr. Srinivasa will guide you through what you can expect from your recovery process and will help you get ready to enjoy your incredible, restorative results. She is also linked with experts in laser therapy, Physical therapy, and Functional Medicine to provide you with experts that can help with all aspects of healing and recovery.

When you’re ready to learn more about what the DIEP flap breast reconstruction procedure can do for you, we’re here to help. Simply reach out to us at our Los Angeles or Thousand Oaks locations, and set up your consultation with a member of our dedicated team today!

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