DIEP Flap Reconstruction And Breast Cancer Recurrence

By: By Dr Chrysopoulo

Blogs
April 14, 2008

Can DIEP flap breast reconstruction prevent detection of breast cancer recurrence? This is a very important issue that is often not discussed.

A handful of studies have shown that breast reconstruction (with any reconstructive technique) does not impact local recurrence or long term survival in patients with early breast cancer (stage I and II). The rate of local recurrence and length of survival is the same in patients with stage I and II disease whether they undergo immediate breast reconstruction (ie reconstruction at the same time as mastectomy) or not. For this reason most institutions (including ours) will offer breast cancer patients with early disease immediate breast reconstruction whenever possible.

Patients diagnosed with advanced disease are more likely to be candidates for delayed breast reconstruction, once they have completed all their cancer treatment and have received clearance from the their medical oncologist to undergo reconstruction.

Breast reconstruction (with a DIEP flap or any other method) does not increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence or decrease survival in any way.

Learn More About DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction

7 Comments

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  • Nan

    Yet, as a stage III PT, the question still remains how ‘best’ to monitor recurrence after Diep recon at chest wall? Or is this concern not necessary?

    Reply
  • Nan

    Yet, as a stage III PT, the question still remains how ‘best’ to monitor recurrence after Diep recon at chest wall? Or is this concern not necessary?

    Reply
  • Dr. Chrysopoulo

    Hello Nan. No real consensus I’m afraid. Here’s another blogpost I wrote on monitoring after mastectomy and reconstruction: http://breast-cancer-reconstruction.blogspot.com/2009/06/mammograms-afte... Hope this helps. Dr C

    Reply
  • Holly

    I had the deip flap procedure done 16 months ago. Lately the left breast, the one where the tumor was, has been tender, almost like when I had my period. Can the be cancer reoccurring?

    Reply
  • PRMA Plastic Surgery

    Hello Holly! We will always recommend that you contact your physician as soon as possible if you have concerns. Although it is probably nothing, it is better to let your doctor know so he/she can review your symptoms and provide you with their recommendations.

    Reply
  • Hui

    HI Dr. C, I had DIEP Flap reconstruction with you 7 years ago for DCIS. It has been great till one week ago, when the recurrence was diagnosed and this time it is invasive and involved some dermal soft tissue. I plan to do mastectomy this time without any reconstruction (because of the recurrence and skin involve). I know there are not a lot a patients with DIEP flap reconstruction, so might be a very small number of patient with this type of reconstruction who needs 2nd mastectomy! The breast surgeon I saw said my case would be a bit complicated due to the reconstruction and skin involvement. So I am wondering if there are any advice from you who performed the reconstruction to me and to my breast surgeon? Look forward to hearing from you!

    Reply
  • PRMA Plastic Surgery

    So sorry to hear about your recurrence Hui! Sadly, even with after mastectomy there is still a chance (even though minimal) of a breast cancer recurrence. We would be more than happy to discuss any upcoming surgery with your breast surgeon any time! We are thinking of you and wish you all the best!

    Reply
PRMA Plastic Surgery