Q: I have a procedure question for the doctor. How does he ensure the belly incision won’t come open?   And what is the normal recovery time for the DIEP procedure? A: Regarding your abdominal incision, we will be closing it in layers and take every possible precaution to do all that we can to prevent it from coming open after surgery. That includes using a drain. Unfortunately, the only way to prevent all possible healing problems would be to not do surgery. There is always some risk of healing complications. The good news is that it is not very likely that the entire incision will totally open. Major healing problems are not common but minor healing problems are not unusual. Minor healing problems, if they occur, are easy to deal with and wont impact the end result. If a severe healing problem occurs even that will be something I can revise and improve on later. Some patients are more prone to healing problems regardless of what I do to prevent them. It takes about 3-4 weeks post-surgery before you are out of the woods for healing issues. During that time your part will be to avoid heavy lifting and driving also make sure you have a balanced healthy diet. Let me know if you have more questions. Dr. Craigie