DIEP Flap Continues to be Gold Standard
By: Courtney Floyd
The DIEP flap continues to hold the title of today’s gold standard in breast reconstruction.
A recent study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery studied the quality of life and patient-reported outcomes in breast cancer survivors who had breast reconstruction using their own abdominal tissue. The study showed the DIEP flap was associated with the highest abdominal well-being and lowest abdominal morbidity post-surgery compared with the pedicle TRAM flap.
The DIEP flap uses the patient's own abdominal skin and fat to reconstruct a natural, warm, soft breast after mastectomy. Unlike the TRAM flap, the DIEP preserves all the abdominal muscles. Only abdominal skin and fat are removed (similar to a "tummy tuck"). Saving the muscles means patients experience less pain, enjoy a faster recovery, maintain their core strength long-term, and have a lower risk of complications.
“I chose DIEP flap after researching the different reconstruction types. I had radiation and knew there was an increased risk of implant failure/complications due to the effects of radiation. I was looking for a way to avoid implants and that high risk of complications. I was drawn to the DIEP flap after looking at reconstruction photos and talking to women who had various types of reconstruction. I consulted with 4 plastic surgeons before deciding on Dr. Ledoux with PRMA. I traveled from Oregon to Texas for my surgery and have never regretted the decision to do so. My breast feel and look how I expected them to look post-surgery, and I'm very satisfied with the results,” said PRMA patient Misty when asked why she chose the DIEP.
Every patient has a choice when it comes to breast reconstruction and there are many options available to help rebuild what cancer tried to take away. It is important to consult with a board-certified Plastic Surgeon to determine the best option.
Watch below as Dr. Chrysopoulo explains the procedure!