Abdominal Tightness After DIEP Flap Surgery
By: Courtney Floyd and Dr. Ramon Garza III
DIEP flap breast reconstruction uses skin and fat from the lower abdomen to recreate a warm, soft, natural breast following a mastectomy.
Because a portion of tummy tissue is removed and transplanted to the chest wall during this procedure, most patients experience some degree of abdominal tightness following surgery as the abdominal skin stretches to its “new normal.”
Thinner patients who do not have a significant amount of tummy tissue may experience a prolonged period of abdominal tightness. This is due to the suturing technique we use that allows us to keep the incision scar lower on the abdomen.
To help alleviate post surgery abdominal tightness, scar massage and scar creams can be used to minimize and soften the abdominal scar. This should only be performed once all incisions are completely healed and patients are given the approval from their surgeon.
Ultimately, abdominal tightness usually improves as the scar tissue matures.