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Choosing DIEP: Why Many Opt for this Advanced Breast Reconstruction Technique

The journey after a mastectomy is a deeply personal one. Beyond the physical challenges that can come with breast loss, the emotional impact can be significant. For some women, breast reconstruction that allows them to achieve a natural look and feel can help them regain a sense of normalcy and confidence. While there are many different breast reconstruction techniques, DIEP flap breast reconstruction is renowned for providing natural results. This innovative technique offers a compelling option for women seeking a long-lasting solution compared to traditional implant-based reconstruction. 

Patients Want Breasts That Look and Feel Natural After Mastectomy 

Breast cancer treatment doesn't always end with surgery. Many women express an interest in breast reconstruction that resembles their natural form, not only visually but also in terms of texture and sensation. DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) flap reconstruction utilizes tissue from a patient’s abdomen, which feels similar to breast tissue. Surgeons use specialized microsurgical instruments and techniques to preserve the delicate blood vessels in the tissue and create a breast mound that suits a patient’s preferences and anatomy. These careful considerations mean breast reconstruction with DIEP flap results in a more natural appearance and potentially a restored sense of touch — which can significantly contribute to a woman's emotional well-being and self-image.

Dissatisfaction with Current Breast Reconstruction Using Implants  

While implants have long played a role in breast reconstruction, they come with limitations. There are several reasons why some women experience dissatisfaction with implant-based breast reconstruction. Capsular contracture, a condition where scar tissue forms around the implant, can cause discomfort and necessitate revision surgery. Additionally, implants may not always achieve the desired natural look and feel, especially following radiation treatment. Matching the size, shape, and position of the reconstructed breast to the remaining natural breast can be challenging with implants, especially following radiation treatment.

Finally, implants are not permanent and may require replacement over time due to rupture, leakage, or simply changes in a woman's body, which can lead to additional surgeries and ongoing costs.

DIEP Flap Does Not Require Future Revision Surgery

Breast reconstruction with DIEP flap offers a significant advantage in terms of long-term results. By utilizing the patient's own tissue, the risk of rejection is minimized, making the need for breast reconstruction revision less likely. Additionally, the blood supply to the reconstructed breast comes from the patient's own body, promoting healthy tissue and reducing the need for future surgeries compared to implants.

Fear of Implant Failure After Mastectomy

Implant failure after mastectomy refers to a situation where a breast implant used in reconstruction no longer functions as intended. This can happen due to various reasons, making the DIEP flap vs. implant choice easier for many. 

Types of Implant Failure:

  • Rupture: This occurs when the outer silicone shell of the implant tears or breaks. Rupture can be silent or cause noticeable changes like breast shape alteration, pain, or firmness.
  • Deflation: This happens when the saline or silicone gel filling leaks out of the implant, causing it to shrink and lose its shape. Similar to rupture, deflation can be asymptomatic or cause noticeable changes.
  • Capsular Contracture: As mentioned earlier, this is a common complication where scar tissue tightens around the implant, causing pain, hardening, and distortion. While not technically a failure of the implant itself, it significantly impacts the outcome of reconstruction.

DIEP Flap Surgery Provides Women with a Tummy Tuck 

The donor site for DIEP flap reconstruction is typically the lower abdomen. Removing tissue for breast reconstruction can result in a flatter, trimmer tummy, offering women an aesthetic benefit along with their breast reconstruction.

Discover Your Options: Schedule a Consultation Today to Explore DIEP Flap Reconstruction 

At The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction, we understand the importance of offering breast cancer patients a variety of reconstruction options. Our team of highly skilled and experienced reconstructive breast surgeons specializes in DIEP flap reconstruction, utilizing the latest advancements in microsurgical techniques to achieve optimal results. We are committed to providing compassionate care and helping women navigate the journey toward healing and regaining confidence.