Breast Reconstruction New Jersey

Autologous breast reconstruction surgery uses living tissue donated from the patient’s own body to form the new breast mound. This treatment is an excellent alternative to breast implants that are linked to complications such as capsular contracture, wrinkling, and leakage. Breast surgeons have a variety of autologous techniques they may use based on the tissue donor area and the surgical approach. The most common autologous techniques include DIEP Flap, TRAM Flap, Latissimus Dorsi Flap, and PAP Flap. Among these techniques, DIEP Flap autologous reconstruction is one of the most advanced techniques. Plastic surgeons transfer excess abdominal tissue (fat and skin) from the lower abdomen area to the chest in order to create a new, natural-looking breast appearance.

Our surgeons at New Jersey Breast Reconstruction Center have helped numerous women feel whole again after facing a mastectomy or lumpectomy as part of their cancer treatment. We have extensive experience performing the DIEP Flap reconstruction that leads to a natural breast appearance, flatter abdomen, quicker recovery, and minimal risk of abdominal hernia. Our plastic surgeons know that undergoing cancer treatment is difficult. For this reason, they exercise great patience with each patient and focus the treatment on delivering the desired outcome while ensuring your safety and comfort.

Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction Techniques

 

Autologous (autogenous) breast reconstruction entails the transplantation of a ‘flap’ of tissue (which includes fat tissue, skin, blood vessels, and sometimes even muscle) from a donor area such as the abdomen, thighs, or buttocks. Compared to implant reconstruction, these techniques use the patient’s own tissue, which eliminates the risk of rejection. More so, the transplanted tissue changes in response to weight fluctuations and tends to improve in appearance and shape over time. Unlike some other types of autogenous reconstruction, DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) is a microsurgical technique that doesn’t touch muscle tissue at the donor area. This allows for the patient’s abdomen to recover much quicker and minimizes the risk of postoperative discomfort and complications. Our surgeons at New Jersey Breast Reconstruction Center are extensively trained in microsurgical reconstructive techniques and will go above and beyond to deliver a safe and successful procedure outcome.

DIEP Flap New Jersey

Benefits of DIEP Flap Reconstruction

For eligible women, DIEP Flap autologous surgical technique offers the following unique benefits:
 

  • Results in a natural-looking breast appearance.
  • The new breast changes in tune with changes in the rest of the body (including weight gain or loss).
  • The procedure results in a bonus advantage – a ‘tummy tuck’ of sorts.
  • Enhanced abdominal contouring.
  • Less postoperative discomfort because muscle tissue is not touched.
  • Quicker recovery compared to some other autologous breast reconstruction options.

DIEP

Am I a Good Candidate for DIEP Flap Surgery?

Breast cancer survivors are free to choose the reconstruction approach they feel most comfortable with. However, not all techniques are right for everyone. You may be an ideal candidate for DIEP Flap breast reconstruction surgery if:

  • You are physically healthy and in a position to withstand major surgery.
  • You have had, or are planning to have, a mastectomy or lumpectomy to treat cancer or reduce risk of cancer due to genetic predisposition.
  • You wish to rebuild breasts that have been damaged due to birth defects, radiation, injury, lumpectomy, or mastectomy.
  • You are bothered by breast asymmetry or an abnormality that makes you feel less feminine or overly self-conscious.
  • You clearly understand this type of breast reconstruction and have realistic expectations.

Different patients have unique needs and expectations. During your consultation visit to New Jersey Breast Reconstruction Center, our surgeons hold deliberations and help you figure out whether DIEP reconstruction is for you. If you do not have adequate stores of donor tissue in the abdominal area, your surgeon may recommend that you undergo an alternative autologous technique (e.g. PAP Flap reconstruction) or implant reconstruction. It is also important to note that the look and feel of your reconstructed breast may never truly be identical to that of a natural breast.

What Happens During a DIEP Flap Procedure?

Breast reconstruction typically requires a 3 – 5 days admission at the hospital. During the deep inferior epigastric perforator flap breast reconstruction procedure, the surgeon will remove fat, skin, and blood vessels from the abdominal area. The flap of tissue is then transferred to the breast pocket where blood vessels are reconnected to the chest supply through microsurgery. The size of the flap that is removed will depend on the size of the breast, and whether the patient needs a single or double mastectomy. Abdominal muscle is not touched as is the case with a TRAM procedure. This procedure may be completed at the time of mastectomy or at a later date. Since excess tissue is removed from the abdominal area, it results in additional contouring of this area in what is referred to as a bonus ‘abdominoplasty’. Once the surgery is complete, our surgeons will monitor your vitals over a number of days before you are allowed to go home.

Cost of DIEP Flap Surgery in New Jersey

Your insurance carrier is required by law to pay for DIEP Flap and other reconstructive procedures. Therefore there should be no cost involved in DIEP Flap natural tissue breast reconstruction. If the patient does not have insurance it can vary from one patient to the other based on the specifics of the procedure. During your initial consultation with our New Jersey office, our office will help you determine your level of coverage and make plans for this treatment.

Schedule Your DIEP Flap Consultation in New Jersey

Our surgeons at New Jersey Breast Reconstruction Center are committed to delivering a superior breast reconstruction experience. From choosing the best personal breast reconstruction option to deciding on the right breast size, our surgeons have your best interests at heart. We understand that undergoing cancer treatment can be a daunting experience, and strive to provide the highest quality patient care. Get in touch with our office to learn more about our array of breast reconstruction options.

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Important Considerations Before Undergoing DIEP Flap Procedure

 

If you are planning to embark on our breast reconstruction journey, it is important that you keep the following considerations in mind before settling on the DIEP flap autologous technique.

  • Age – breast reconstruction procedures may be performed at any age as long as the breasts are fully developed.
  • Pregnancy – if you have thought about having kids in the future, let your New Jersey breast surgeon know in advance. This is important because pregnancy often causes physiological changes that may impact the long-term outcome of your surgery.
  • Cancer treatment – if you are having ongoing cancer treatment, keep in mind that this can affect your options for breast reconstruction, as well as the timeline of your procedure. Some women may be able to have reconstructive breast surgery completed at the time of mastectomy. However, multiple procedures are sometimes necessary in order to ensure a superior reconstruction outcome.

Our breast reconstruction surgeons will work with your primary care physician, radiation oncologists, and other specialists that may be involved in your mastectomy and/or cancer treatment to chart the best possible path for you.

How to Prepare for Diep Flap Reconstruction

 

Taking steps to prepare for your breast reconstructive surgery is important to facilitate a successful procedure outcome. Our NJ breast surgeons often recommend the following steps:
Quit smoking at least four weeks before the day of the surgery.

 

  • Get your blood work and EKG tests done to rule out certain medical conditions.
  • Stop taking certain over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, as well as vitamin and nutritional supplements.
  • Adjust to stop taking current medication at least temporarily.

Recovery From DIEP Flap Surgery

 

Once you are ready to be discharged from the surgical facility, our office will provide detailed aftercare instructions to ensure a smooth recovery process. Our surgeons will also administer oral pain medication to alleviate discomfort and antibiotics to prevent infection. Most women experience soreness and tenderness in the breasts and abdomen over the first few days. It is important that you do not bend, pull, push, or lift anything at this time throughout the first 6 weeks. Drainage tubes that are inserted to drain away accumulated fluid are typically removed within 2 weeks. You may be asked to wear a supportive garment in order to control swelling and improve your comfort. Many patients are able to resume light work within 8 weeks. However, it may take much longer before you are able to exercise or engage in other strenuous activities. Numbness and a firm sensation on the skin’s surface usually resolve within a few months. And the outcome of your surgery should be evident as soon as you are fully recovered. Our office will be available throughout the recovery duration to answer your questions and provide any support that you may need.

More DIEP Info

Important Considerations Before Undergoing DIEP Flap Procedure

 

If you are planning to embark on our breast reconstruction journey, it is important that you keep the following considerations in mind before settling on the DIEP flap autologous technique.

  • Age – breast reconstruction procedures may be performed at any age as long as the breasts are fully developed.
  • Pregnancy – if you have thought about having kids in the future, let your New Jersey breast surgeon know in advance. This is important because pregnancy often causes physiological changes that may impact the long-term outcome of your surgery.
  • Cancer treatment – if you are having ongoing cancer treatment, keep in mind that this can affect your options for breast reconstruction, as well as the timeline of your procedure. Some women may be able to have reconstructive breast surgery completed at the time of mastectomy. However, multiple procedures are sometimes necessary in order to ensure a superior reconstruction outcome.

Our breast reconstruction surgeons will work with your primary care physician, radiation oncologists, and other specialists that may be involved in your mastectomy and/or cancer treatment to chart the best possible path for you.

How to Prepare for Diep Flap Reconstruction

 

Taking steps to prepare for your breast reconstructive surgery is important to facilitate a successful procedure outcome. Our NJ breast surgeons often recommend the following steps:
Quit smoking at least four weeks before the day of the surgery.

 

  • Get your blood work and EKG tests done to rule out certain medical conditions.
  • Stop taking certain over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, as well as vitamin and nutritional supplements.
  • Adjust to stop taking current medication at least temporarily.

Recovery From DIEP Flap Surgery

 

Once you are ready to be discharged from the surgical facility, our office will provide detailed aftercare instructions to ensure a smooth recovery process. Our surgeons will also administer oral pain medication to alleviate discomfort and antibiotics to prevent infection. Most women experience soreness and tenderness in the breasts and abdomen over the first few days. It is important that you do not bend, pull, push, or lift anything at this time throughout the first 6 weeks. Drainage tubes that are inserted to drain away accumulated fluid are typically removed within 2 weeks. You may be asked to wear a supportive garment in order to control swelling and improve your comfort. Many patients are able to resume light work within 8 weeks. However, it may take much longer before you are able to exercise or engage in other strenuous activities. Numbness and a firm sensation on the skin’s surface usually resolve within a few months. And the outcome of your surgery should be evident as soon as you are fully recovered. Our office will be available throughout the recovery duration to answer your questions and provide any support that you may need.

Frequently Asked DIEP Questions

FAQ

What to expect during your breast reconstruction consultation?

During your visit to New Jersey Breast Reconstruction Center, you will be matched with a skilled surgeon who will answer all your questions about breast reconstruction. The surgeon will also gather your medical history and discuss treatment options such as breast implant and autologous techniques. The surgeon will then determine whether you are the right candidate for DIEP flap surgery based on your body type and other factors. This initial consultation is a perfect opportunity to learn as much as possible and start your groundwork on your reconstruction after mastectomy.

Is DIEP Flap reconstruction for me?

DIEP Flap reconstruction entails transplanting a flap of skin, fat, and blood supply from the abdomen to the chest wall in order to form the new breast tissue. Plastic surgeons take unprecedented care and do not touch the rectus abdominis muscles during this treatment. You may be the right candidate for a DIEP flap if you have enough fat and skin in the lower abdomen to form the desired breast shape. You must also be in good physical shape to withstand surgery of this magnitude.

Is nipple reconstruction included?

Some patients with breast cancer are able to have a nipple-sparing mastectomy. In cases where the nipple-areola complex is removed during the mastectomy, a separate nipple reconstruction procedure is needed. This usually takes place a few months after the mastectomy and is typically performed with minimal anesthesia. In some cases, plastic surgeons may use tattoos to recreate the look of a nipple area.