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DIEP Flap Uses Microsurgery in Breas​t Restoration​

I've had a mastectomy and want reconstructive breast surgery. I've heard about the DIEP flap procedure. What makes this a good op​tion?

This technique spares the abdominal musculature, which means that recovery is faster and complications are fewer than with traditional TRAM flap surgery,” says Jamal Bullocks, M.D., F.A.C.S., a board-certified breast reconstructive and plastic surgeon at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

Breast reconstruction that uses the patient’s own tissue is popular because the consistency of the abdominal tissue is very similar to natural breast tissue. Women who undergo the DIEP flap reconstruction also benefit from improved abdominal contouring, much like a “tummy tuck.”

Dr. Bullocks says that a candidate for DIEP flap surgery must have an adequate supply of blood to the skin and fatty tissue in the lower abdominal region. Additionally, patients must also be in good health.

Although most women are good candidates for this type of reconstruction, not all are. In general, women who smoke, have uncontrolled diabetes or have connective tissue or blood vessel diseases are not good candidates because these conditions can affect blood circulation. A healthy blood supply to the new breast is critical to the success of the surgery.

“There are many options to restore the breast after mastectomy. A consultation with a plastic surgeon is necessary to assess what’s best for you,” says Dr. Bullocks, who cares for patients at Kelsey-Seybold’s Main Campus near the Texas Medical Center. “The DIEP procedure is still a relatively new advancement in breast reconstruction, so it is important to find an experienced surgeon.”

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Jamal Bullocks, MD, FACS

As a Plastic and Aesthetic surgeon, I want my patients to feel better about themselves when they are under my care. ​I like to take a holistic approach to treating every patient's concerns so that we can obtain solutions th​at are tailored for each individual to reach their specific goals.  ​