It’s not as straightforward as you may think.

You’ve had your first consultation with your surgeon and now you are ready to schedule your DIEP. Our first question is: Do you need a mastectomy, or have you already had that done?

If you’ve already had mastectomy it’s a little more straightforward and tends to be a seamless process. We can see what is readily available on our surgery schedule, already know that the hospital has assigned our practice days dedicated to these surgeries (we call it “Block Time”), and you’ve already had your cancer treated so there is no critical timeline for us to perform under.

Our surgical team has three dedicated days per week in which we perform first-stage microsurgical breast reconstruction procedures – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Monday and Friday, we limit to subsequent stages of surgery because we are not assigned enough “Block Time” to complete DIEP, GAP, or other types of microsurgical breast procedures

If you have a current breast cancer diagnosis, things are a bit more complicated when it comes to scheduling. Coordination of the surgical team is sometimes quite a juggling act! We will need to work with your breast surgeon’s office to see when she or he would be available to perform your mastectomy.

Sometimes this requires rescheduling and rearranging of previously If you are traveling to us, we have four breast surgeons in our local area with whom we routinely work, and our staff handles contacting those offices and coordinates your first consultation and surgical care.

Keep in mind, not all breast surgeons in our local area have “privileges” that allow them to operate at our preferred hospitals. The hospitals we utilize to perform microsurgical breast reconstruction have a dedicated surgical team and “flap” nurses who care for you in the post operative period who are specially trained and as committed to successful outcomes as we are.

Next, we fill out required paperwork and send to the hospital central scheduling department once we have acquired pre-certification and/or pre-authorization for your surgical procedure.

Learn more! Our next post will discuss the pre-certification and pre-authorization process.

If you are ready to get started on your breast reconstruction journey reach out to us through the contact form, chat, or us the Ask the Doctor links on our website. If we’re not live on chat, we typically respond to inquiries within 24 hours Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm EST. Don’t forget to include your email address so we can reply directly to you.