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Skilled Reconstruction Backed by Years of Experience

DIEP stands for Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator, and DIEP flap refers to a specific type of breast reconstruction technique. This intensive reconstructive surgery removes tissue (skin, fat, and blood vessels) from the lower belly and then uses them to create a new breast. This breast reconstruction procedure is time and labor-intensive, but can yield great results generally without the use of synthetic implants, while also tending to tighten the appearance of the abdomen like a “tummy tuck.”

Is the DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction Right for Me?

As a form of reconstruction, this procedure is ideal for women recovering from mastectomies, which are themselves the result of breast cancer or another serious health condition. In particular, DIEP flap reconstruction is effective for women who have enough tissue in their lower belly to reconstruct one or both breasts. On the other hand, DIEP reconstruction may not be an ideal choice for women who:

  • Have little abdominal fat or tissue to spare
  • Smoke
  • Are morbidly obese
  • Have narrow or inflexible blood vessels
  • Poor medical condition
  • Previous abdominoplasty

How Does it Work?

This procedure relies on tissue flaps to create new “breasts” or breast mounds after a mastectomy. Any DIEP procedure uses anesthesia to control pain and discomfort while an incision is then made along the bikini line (similar to a tummy tuck) and the required skin, fat, and blood vessels are removed. Unlike other tissue flap techniques, DIEP reconstruction surgeries do not remove any abdominal muscles. This allows for faster recovery times but also makes the cosmetic surgery more challenging and time-intensive to perform.

After removing the necessary tissue, Garrett Wirth, MD, MS, FACS will transfer it to the chest and shape it into a natural-looking, appropriately sized breast. The blood supply for the breast reconstruction can be surgically attached at the chest vessels utilizing very highly technical skills. After these steps are finished, all incisions are sutured. The procedure usually requires about 7 or more hours to complete and longer if both sides are being reconstructed.

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Breast Reconstruction in Newport Beach

Garrett Wirth, MD, MS, FACS understands that breast reconstruction is an incredibly important and personal procedure, with implications that last long into your lifetime. 

We’ll work closely together with you to ensure that we’re designing a treatment plan tailored specifically to your cosmetic goals and unique anatomical features, ensuring your ability to enjoy the results you’ve been dreaming of.

If you’re in the Newport Beach area and you think a breast reconstruction is right for you, we want to hear from you! Reach out and set up your consultation with Dr. Wirth today.

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What Happens After Surgery?

Although recovery times for a DIEP reconstruction are generally shorter than traditional TRAM reconstructive surgery, you should still expect somewhere around 6 weeks to reach full recovery. During this time, soreness, swelling, and irritation at incision sites are common. Immediately following surgery, your incisions will be properly dressed and bandaged. You may also be given an elastic bandage or support bra to help reduce swelling and support the newly reconstructed breast.

Throughout the recovery period, you will work with Dr. Wirth and his team to ensure that full healing occurs and that the reconstructed breast is aesthetically and functionally successful.

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