Autologous Reconstruction DIEP flap
Breast reconstruction using the patient’s own tissue (ie skin, fat and muscle) is called autologous reconstruction. Autologous reconstruction varies based on the location of the donor tissue (abdomen, back, buttock, thigh) and whether the tissue is moved while it is still connected to its blood supply (pedicled flap) or a new blood vessel connection is made (free flap). Autologus flaps utilize the patient’s own tissue, if successfully performed, will stay with her forever. Because of this, it is one very attractive option for our patients.
DIEP flap is a free autologous flap using the skin and fat of the abdomen. It’s one of the most common autologous breast reconstructions we do. The size of the reconstructed breast correlate directly with the amount of excess abdominal skin and fat that is available. Women with excess tissue in their abdomen will also have the benefit of a “tummy tuck??? while undergoing DIEP breast reconstruction.
The advantage of DIEP over some of the other abdominal-based autologous reconstruction is reduced chance of an abdominal complication such as bulge or hernia. DIEP breast reconstruction is a complex surgery involving microsurgery (connecting tinny blood vessels using a microscope) and tissue transplantation. Dr. Zhang and his colleagues have years of experience performing DIEP flaps with great success. (See DIEP free flap recon photos)