Weight Changes and the Impact to DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction Results
By: Courtney Floyd
Will my reconstructed breasts change size if I gain or loose weight after DIEP flap surgery?
We are often asked how future weight changes will impact final DIEP flap breast reconstruction results.
The general answer is that your breast size will most likely fluctuate with weight changes just like a natural breast would. However, every individual is different. Some patients may notice minimal change to their breast size following weight gain/loss. On the other hand, there are some patients who may end up wearing a completely different bra size following weight change.
Most patients find any change in breast size due to weight fluctuation to be proportionate to their new body size.
However, if you are unhappy with the breast size following weight change, there are options to help. For patients who have lost a significant amount of weight and have seen a large decrease in their breast size, fat grafting or adding a small implant can help achieve the desired size. Patients who have gained weight and have seen a dramatic increase to the size of their reconstructed breast may benefit from breast reduction surgery or liposuction to the reconstructed breast. Regardless of the change, we recommend patients be at a stable weight for some time before undergoing any additional revision surgery.
It is important to note that patients wanting to lose a few pounds after surgery should not start dieting until at least 6 weeks after all surgical wounds have healed. Wound healing requires adequate nutrition and protein. Cutting calories during this critical period could affect healing.