Should I Lose Weight Before DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction?
When preparing for DIEP flap breast reconstruction, many women wonder if they should lose weight. This is an excellent question! While there is no textbook answer, there are some general recommendations we share with patients.
Is weight loss necessary before DIEP surgery?
Being close to your ideal weight prior to surgery is always recommended. Weight loss is not a requirement in most cases though. As long as patients are at a safe weight and have enough abdominal tissue to reconstruct a new breast, patients should be good to go for surgery. We always recommend patients follow a healthy diet prior to surgery. Eating foods rich in protein can help prepare the body for healing after surgery.
Are there certain BMI requirements for surgery?
At PRMA, we do recommend patients have a BMI of below 35-40 prior to surgery. This is only because we care about our patients and their recovery. Studies have shown that DIEP flap surgery is safe for patients with a BMI over 35. However, complications and wound healing risk can greatly increase as the BMI calculations rise over 35. For patients whose BMI is above 35, we recommend losing weight prior to surgery.
What happens if you lose weight after surgery?
If your weight goals change after surgery and you lose weight, no worries! Your newly reconstructed breasts will react to your weight loss changes similarly to how your natural breasts would have. If you lose weight after DIEP surgery, your reconstructed breasts will likely decrease in size as well. This change may be minimally noticeable or drastic, depending on how your body reacts to weight loss. If your breast size decreases too much, additional surgery (like fat grafting) can be performed to help you achieve your desired breast size after weight loss.
If you have questions or concerns about weight loss before or after DIEP flap surgery, please call us at 800-692-5565 or complete our free virtual consultation form HERE.
It is a great honor to be part of a team with such a rich tradition of excellent patient care, shares Dr. Andrew Gassman, the newest surgeon to join the PRMA team. Years and years of procedure fine tuning with individualized care means our patients truly benefit from both efficiency and experience.