A DIEP Flap breast reconstruction procedure uses fat and skin from the same area as the TRAM Flap in the lower abdomen, but does not require removal of any muscle. The DIEP procedure requires the use of an operating microscope (microsurgery) to connect blood vessels when the tissue is moved to the breast.
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DIEP flap during surgery
In addition to the potential advantages and disadvantages listed on the Autologous Breast Reconstruction page, other potential advantages and disadvantages of DIEP Flap are also outlined here.
Potential Advantages | Potential Disadvantages
- Results in the tightening of the lower abdomen – similar to a tummy tuck
- No abdominal muscle removed
- Little to no loss of abdominal strength versus TRAM
- Microsurgery requires extra time in surgery (up to 8 hours for the reconstruction of both breasts)
- May affect mobility and range of motion
- Complications associated with microsurgery may result in tissue not surviving when moved to the breast