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The DIEP Flap Procedure

Breast reconstruction can be physically and emotionally rewarding if you have lost a breast due to cancer or another condition, and can dramatically improve your self-image, self-confidence and quality of life. The surgeons at CMC Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery are dedicated to providing you with comprehensive care and support throughout your breast reconstruction journey.

The DIEP flap procedure involves removing skin, fat and deep inferior epigastric vessels from your abdomen to rebuild a natural-looking and feeling breast to the touch. A major advantage of this procedure is the preservation of the abdominal muscles, which retains abdominal wall strength and reduces the risk of developing a post-operative hernia. By sparing these muscles, patients also experience less post-operative pain, a shorter recovery period and fewer post-operative complications in comparison to non-muscle sparing techniques. This procedure can result in improved cosmesis of both breast and abdomen. Tissue removed from the abdomen is characteristically similar to breast tissue, enhancing the aesthetic outcome of the reconstructed breast. In addition, since the fat and skin removed is consistent with that of an abdominoplasty (tummy-tuck), patients may also have improved abdominal contour following surgery.

What to expect following your surgery:

  • The estimated recovery time for this procedure is four to eight weeks. You should expect a hospital stay anywhere from three to five days.
  • A follow up office visit will be scheduled for one week following your discharge from the hospital. You will follow up weekly for approximately three weeks. Additional surgical procedures may be necessary to give the breast its ideal shape.
  • Once the breast is shaped, you must wait for three months before proceeding with the nipple reconstruction.

CMC Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery has the only physicians in Charlotte who perform these advanced procedures. Speak with your surgeon today to determine if this reconstruction procedure is best for you.

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