DIEP Flap (Tummy Tuck Breast Reconstruction)
Battling breast cancer is a difficult and exhausting journey. Winning the battle is incomparable.
Our Breast Reconstructive procedure can help you regain your womanly appearance while erasing some of the physical scars left behind from a full or partial mastectomy. The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act requires insurance companies to pay for a Breast Reconstruction surgery following a full or partial mastectomy due to breast cancer. At Ambay Plastic Surgery, our team is committed to helping you receive the confidence you deserve.
We understand that sometimes a Breast Reconstruction procedure can be an emotional process. We promise to be with you every step of the way and provide you with all of the knowledge and guidance you need to make the best decision for your body and needs.
Breast Reconstruction Surgery
Our Signature Procedure. While we perform the full spectrum of plastic and reconstructive surgery, we truly specialize in one major area:
Breast cancer reconstruction and in particular the DIEP free flap. The DIEP flap (tummy tuck breast reconstruction) takes tissue that is normally discarded in a tummy tuck (excess abdominal skin and fat) and transplants that tissue to recreate the missing breast. The artery, and occasionally a nerve is hand sewn under the microscope (microsurgery) to new blood vessels between or under the ribs. Thus a new, independent blood flow is established to areas severely damaged by radiation or surgery. A soft, supple and natural appearing breast can be shaped on the chest and can last a lifetime.
Compared to other procedures, it has the least amount of down time, quickest return to normal activity and least amount of pain. For pain, most patients do not need to take anything other than Tylenol. You can expect to be walking the day after surgery, showering the second day and at home on the third day. There are no restrictions on the amount of walking. You may drive and perform most activities of daily living after the first week.
- No muscle is removed and therefore the pain after surgery is minimal. In fact, 98% of our patients only take Tylenol for pain the day after surgery and require no narcotic or pain medications.
- A side effect of our breast reconstruction is that the patient receives a tummy tuck. Even the incision is the same as a cosmetic tummy tuck.
- Quick recovery. 3 day hospital stay. The overwhelming majority of our patients are discharged from the hospital on the third day. Most are driving after 1 week and return to all their normal activities without restrictions after 2 weeks.
- Nothing artificial is placed. In other methods of breast reconstruction, including techniques that some may call a DIEP flap, an artificial mesh is placed in the abdomen because a section of muscle is taken along with fascia (cover over muscle). Since we do not take any muscle or fascia, there is no defect and all incisions are closed simply with sutures. A second benefit in not placing artificial mesh is the infection rate is also much lower than any traditional method of breast reconstruction including TRAM flap and implants.
- Sensation of the breast skin after mastectomy. In selected cases, when we are involved with the reconstruction at the time of mastectomy, we take great care to preserve the nerves that allow the breast skin to have sensation. Our nerve sparing technique is a significant advantage to the traditional mastectomy that has been performed nearly the same way for almost 80 years.
- Simultaneous transplant of lymph nodes. At the time of the DIEP flap, we can also incorporate lymph nodes that are removed by an axillary lymph node dissection. This may lower the risk of a permanent complication such as lymphedema (swollen arm).
Click here to view before and after photographs of DIEP flaps performed by Dr. Ambay.
Contact Ambay Plastic Surgery
Dr. Ambay will educate and guide you on the reconstructive process that best addresses your goals while creating a beautiful and natural shape. We want you to celebrate your victory and feel confident in your own skin! Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation and start the journey back to your confidence and natural beauty.