The DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) flap method is another breast reconstruction technique offered at our New Jersey surgery practice. Like the Free TRAM flap breast reconstruction method, DIEP flap breast reconstruction also uses tissue from the abdominal area to construct the breast without the use of foreign material. Another similarity between the two breast reconstruction methods is the use of microsurgical techniques to restore the flow of blood to transplanted tissue obtained from the abdominal area. The DIEP flap breast reconstruction method employed at our New Jersey practice is somewhat more technically demanding and time consuming than other breast reconstruction surgery methods. The most important benefit of the DIEP flap method is that it does not require the use of any abdominal muscle tissue and thus, does not result in the weakening of the abdominal muscles as a side effect.
During a DIEP flap breast reconstruction at our New Jersey practice, the epigastric artery, as well as other perforating vessels, are meticulously extracted from the abdominal muscle. This perforating vessel extraction is necessary for the creation of a functioning perforator flap.
Perforating vessels are veins or arteries that pass through body tissue, most often muscles, without providing nourishment to that tissue. These blood vessels are like the body’s equivalent of expressways in that they provide blood and nutrients with quick access to a specific destination, usually in the skin, with no stopovers.
A perforator flap is a section of extracted skin and fatty tissue that is cut off from its original blood supply and transplanted to another area of the body. During the DIEP flap breast reconstruction procedure performed at our New Jersey practice, microsurgical techniques are employed to ensure that a perforator flap retains enough perforator vessel tissue to be reconnected to a new circulatory pathway at the transplant site.