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DIEP flap After Prior Abdominal Surgery PRMA Plastic Surgery

Can I Have DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction After Prior Abdominal Surgery?

DIEP flap After Prior Abdominal Surgery PRMA Plastic Surgery

Many women interested in DIEP flap breast reconstruction believe that because they have had prior abdominal surgery (such as a c-section, hysterectomy, or appendix removal) they are no longer candidates for the procedure.

This is a very common misconception!

In the vast majority of cases, previous abdominal surgery does not disqualify a patient from being a good DIEP candidate. In fact, at PRMA, a large percentage of our patients come to their initial consultation having had previous abdominal surgeries.

It is possible for procedures like c-sections and hysterectomies to cause damage to the necessary blood vessels needed to perform DIEP flap surgery, but this is very rare. If there is ever a concern that the DIEP vessels have been compromised, an imaging test can be ordered to check for potential damage prior to undergoing the surgery.

Unfortunately, women who have undergone a tummy tuck, previous TRAM flap reconstruction, or very extensive abdominal wall reconstructions are no longer candidates for the DIEP procedure. This is due to the necessary skin and fatty tissue necessary to recreate a breast no longer being available.  For these patients, alternative flap procedures may be an option.  Thigh flaps (eg. TUG/VUG, ALT, PAP, LTP) and/or buttock flaps (eg. iGAP, sGAP) can also provide patients with natural, warm, soft reconstructed breasts following a mastectomy.

While most previous abdominal surgeries may not prevent DIEP flap reconstruction, it is important for patients to know that having had multiple previous abdominal procedures does increase the risk of abdominal complications like bulging and even hernia after DIEP flap surgery when compared to women that have never had prior abdominal surgery.

Author: Dr. Minas Chrysopoulo and Courtney Floyd

 

In the vast majority of cases, previous abdominal surgery does not disqualify a patient from being a good DIEP candidate. In fact, at PRMA, a large percentage of our patients come to their initial consultation having had previous abdominal surgeries.

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