DIEP flap breast reconstruction - CHI Health, Nebraska (NE) - Southwest Iowa (IA)

Breast reconstruction following mastectomy or lumpectomy can help to restore the look and feel of breasts and help women feel happier about their bodies and themselves.

Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP) flap breast reconstruction

Dr. Gangadasu Reddy is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who performs Deep Inferior Epigastric artery Perforator (DIEP) flap breast reconstruction for breast cancer patients.

(DIEP) flap – also called microvascular or free flap – is an advanced type of breast reconstruction procedure. It does not involve any prosthetic implants, nor does it sacrifice muscle as with other procedures, such as TRAM (Transverse Rectus Abdominis Myocutaneous) flap or Latissimus dorsi muscle flap.

Using skin and fat from the abdominal area, Dr. Reddy is able to reconstruct a woman’s breast or breasts and provide an aesthetically-pleasing breast reconstruction without sacrificing any muscle. This method is called (autologous reconstruction).

When the tissue is moved to the breast, the surgeon uses a method called microvascular breast reconstruction in which he uses an operating microscope to connect blood vessels The sutures are smaller in diameter than the end of a piece of hair. It is technically challenging, so not many surgeons can perform this type of surgery.

Not only are her breasts reconstructed – she gets a tummy tuck at the same time. It has a better than 98% success rate.

When can the DIEP flap procedure be performed?

The DIEP flap procedure can be performed any time following a mastectomy, either immediately following the mastectomy or after completion of chemotherapy and radiation.

What are the advantages of DIEP flap?

Because the patient’s own skin and fat is used, there’s a lot of consistency in how the new breast looks and feels. The reconstructed breasts may have a firmer feel. They usually have a more youthful appearance and results are long-lasting. Breast size changes with the changes in the patient’s body weight, but there’s no loss of abdominal strength because the muscle is not removed. Again – less pain and faster recovery.

Who is a candidate for DIEP flap?

  • Women who have had a complete mastectomy
  • It also can be considered in patients who have had a lumpectomy and radiation/partial mastectomy
  • Patients who have had a failed implant-based reconstruction
  • Patients who underwent prior radiotherapy
  • It can be offered to women who have had a prior C-section
  • There is no upper age limit for this procedure

Women who aren’t candidates for this type of surgery are very thin patients who don’t have a lot of abdominal fat or those who have had prior liposuction. The microsurgery does require more time in surgery, especially if both breasts are being reconstructed.

Due to the high level of skill required for microsurgery, this procedure isn’t available everywhere. Most breast centers are still performing prosthetic or implant-based surgeries. Even if the patient’s body tissue is used, often muscle is sacrificed in the process.

Dr. Reddy is an active member of American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM). He has fellowship training and experience in performing these most technically challenging perforator flap surgeries for breast reconstruction.

Having worked with many breast cancer patients, Dr. Reddy understands the stress women undergo during breast cancer treatment. He will work with them to get their lives back to normal and feel “complete” again.  

Call 402-717-0820 and ask for Dr. Reddy regarding more information about the DIEP flap procedure.