Reconstructing Breasts From Your Tummy Tissue
"I was hesitant about the DIEP procedure because it seemed like so much surgery to have at once. Compared to the 2 C-sections and hysterectomy that I have had, the "tummy tuck" part of the procedure was a breeze. Other than a little itching at the suture sites and a tight abdomen, I barely knew that I had had surgery on my stomach."
M.B., Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Perforator flaps and natural breast reconstruction represent the state-of-the-art in breast reconstruction. The DIEP flap is the most frequently used type of perforator surgery for breast reconstruction because of the tummy tuck benefit that can be part of the process. Doctors borrow skin and tissue from your abdomen, and use it to create a soft, warm, living breast.
It starts with an incision along the bikini line similar to a tummy tuck incision. Surgeons remove the necessary skin, soft tissue, and tiny feeding blood vessels. The blood vessels are matched to supplying vessels at the mastectomy site and reattached under a microscope. Tissue is then transformed into a new breast mound.
Our refined technique provides all the necessary tissue to build a breast, without removing the abdominal muscles. In addition to reconstructing the breast, the contour of the abdomen is often improved - much like a tummy tuck.