Is DIEP flap surgery the only method available for reconstructing breasts?
A breast can be reconstructed in a variety of methods. If you want to undergo breast reconstruction, you should go through the advantages and disadvantages of each procedure with your doctor. There are two primary categories of reconstruction:
· Reconstruction of the breast using flaps made of tissue from various body parts.
· Implant reconstruction: Rebuild your breast with a silicone or saline implant.
What occurs before a DIEP flap operation?
Your healthcare professional will provide detailed information on preparing for DIEP flap surgery. You will undergo a physical examination and blood testing to ensure you’re in good enough health for surgery. To plan the operation, your surgeon will take pictures of your breasts and abdomen, and will often arrange for additional imaging tests.
You ought to:
· Exercise lightly in the weeks and months before surgery to strengthen your muscles and enhance your cardiovascular health.
· Stop smoking and stay away from anything that contains nicotine.
· Eat a healthy diet
What occurs during a DIEP flap procedure?
Typically, a DIEP flap procedure lasts six to eight hours. A tissue expander may have been inserted under the skin of the chest of certain patients undergoing delayed reconstruction. The tissue expander, if you had one, will be taken out during your flap operation.
Here’s what you may anticipate generally:
Anaesthetic: A vein in your arm is used to provide anaesthesia. To prevent you from feeling any discomfort throughout the treatment, anaesthesia helps you fall asleep.
Incision: The surgeon will make an incision in your lower abdomen; this incision is made between your belly button and the top of the pubic hair region, running from hip bone to hip bone. This is the same tissue that is removed in a “tummy tuck” procedure.
Tissue removal: A single flap of skin including fat and blood arteries, is removed from your belly. There is no muscle removal by your surgeon. Breast Flap
Your surgeon creates an incision in your chest to transfer tissue (usually the same incision line from your mastectomy or lumpectomy). They move the flap to the breast location and delicately join the flap’s blood vessels to those in your chest.
Breast shaping: Following the attachment of the blood vessels, your surgeon will shape the tissue to most closely match the normal contour of a breast.
The wounds on your chest and abdomen will likely get drained by your surgeon. Drains assist in fluid removal, edema reduction, and the healing process. They will be taken out 1-2 weeks after the operation.
Closure: Your surgeon uses stitches close the incisions made in your chest and abdomen (they adjust your abdomen skin, so your belly button is still in a natural position).
What are the advantages of DIEP flap breast reconstruction?
More of a natural appearance: Compared to implants, many individuals believe that utilizing their own tissue provides new breasts with a more natural shape and feel.
A procedure that spares muscle: You retain your abdominal strength since your surgeon doesn’t remove muscle from your abdomen. Additionally, recovery time is quicker than with other flap operations.
Permanent outcomes are provided via DIEP flap surgery. If you gain or lose weight, implants may burst, harden, move, or need to be modified.
Breast sensation may be preserved. Your restored breast may retain some feeling. Ask your surgeon whether it’s possible to move sensory nerves from the flap to your chest.
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