A mastectomy can take a major toll on a patient’s confidence, and many women struggle with self-image issues after undergoing that procedure. If that sounds like your own situation, then you might want to take a closer look at DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery. That advanced procedure allows surgeons to safely restore the appearance of a patient’s breast with their own fat and skin, and it can produce amazing results. Here is a quick look at just a few of the reasons why you might want to consider this cutting-edge DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery and what you can expect following your own operation.
Why DIEP Flap Reconstruction?
Even though many different breast reconstruction procedures can be highly successful, DIEP flap reconstruction has become incredibly popular in recent years. The biggest benefit of this procedure is the fact that it can create an exceptionally natural appearance after a woman has undergone a mastectomy. The skin comes from the patient’s own body, and that means the tone is going to match perfectly. Because the patient’s own tissue is used, there is also very little risk of post-op complications.
The loss of abdominal tissue is another reason you might want to consider DIEP flap reconstruction. The first part of this procedure is very similar to a tummy tuck, and that means you will be able to get rid of any excess tissue in the midsection that you are struggling with. As the tissue is being removed, a skilled surgeon can also preserve the underlying muscles so that no damage takes place. To see just how natural the results can be, you might want to take a look at some DIEP flap breast reconstruction before and after photos.
Understanding the Procedure
After you have carried out some online research and looked through the DIEP flap breast reconstruction before and after photos, you will then need to schedule an appointment with the surgeon to learn more about the operation. This highly personalized operation requires quite a bit of skill, and every single surgery is slightly different. For the average patient, breast reconstruction surgery is carried out with a general anesthetic that puts them completely to sleep. The surgeon will then begin the process of carefully removing the tissue from the midsection.
Once the tissue has been removed, it is then reattached to the breasts. During that phase of the operation, the surgeon will use specialized tools to attach individual veins to one another. That ensures that the tissue is going to remain healthy and the grafted skin ages just like the rest of the nearby skin. Once the tissue has been repositioned in the breast and abdomen, the incisions are sutured shut.
Recovering From Surgery
Even though every patient has a slightly different recovery, most can resume everyday activities within six to eight weeks. During the first two weeks, you should expect to feel tired and sore. The discomfort can typically be managed with prescription medications and compression wraps. Due to the swelling and discomfort, you should have a loved one nearby who can help you with cooking and other household chores.
Unlike many other procedures, it is going to take quite some time for the skin to return to normal after DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery. Some women claim that the skin’s sensitivity never returns to normal while others have gradual improvements over the course of one or two years. While you are healing, you must try to remain as healthy as possible so that you don’t struggle with any post-op complications.