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(Diep) Deep Flap surgery

Dr3amline's picture
Dr3amline
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2010

Has anyone ever had this surgery before and what was your outcome??

Thanks,

cindy

New Flower
Posts: 4044
Joined: Aug 2009

http://csn.cancer.org/node/176577
http://csn.cancer.org/node/135326

Cindy,
I had DIEP Flap surgery 14 months ago. You can rite me a privet Message with specific question. Please check these two discussions, I found them very useful.
Good Luck

jk1952's picture
jk1952
Posts: 613
Joined: May 2009

I've copied a post that I did to a question about whether to have a bilateral or single mastectomy with reconstruction. It contains some informaiton about the DIEP surgery. One of my breasts was a DIEP reconstruction and the other a TRAM flap (same as DIEP but some muscle used). I'm very happy with the results, but it can be difficult to find someone who is trained in this procedure: it is very delicate micro-vascular surgery.

I chose a bilateral for a couple reasons: I had been treated with a lumpectomy and radiation in 2000 when I was diagnosed with a small amount of invasive lobular cancer, DCIS and LCIS. When DCIS was found in the same breast this year, I knew that I would have a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (using DIEP), since that was the only reconstruction that a plastic surgeon would do near me on someone who has had radiation. I had had several sonograms and MRIs on both breasts during the nine years, so I knew that I would probably continue needing them on the other breast. Also, I was told that if I needed to have the other breast removed, I would not be able to have the DIEP surgery again, since they would have discarded all of the extra tummy tissue in the first procedure. I wanted to 'get it over with' and be as much back to normal as possible, as quickly as possible.

The recovery from the DIEP was long: eight weeks for me. And, my primary complaints were related to my abdomen, not any restrictions due to the mastectomy. But, the breasts seem quite real, they are my own tissue, and they'll age as my normal breasts would. Unless you have to have a short recovery period, for some reason, I wouldn't let that be a determining factor. I considered what would be best in the long term, and I knew that by doing them both at once I would avoid another recovery period, if the othe breast needed to be removed.

As an aside, I was able to control the pain with Advil within two days of the surgery, and I was able to drive short distances within three weeks. (I think that the restriction on the driving was more due to the tummy tuck than the mastectomy).

Joyce

Dr3amline's picture
Dr3amline
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2010

I've had a double masectomy and spacers installed..LOL Because of 2 infections, my left breast has rejected the spacer.

My plastic surgeon recommends the Diep flap as my last resort. Not sure if I should have 1 or both reconstructed..Any suggestions??

New Flower
Posts: 4044
Joined: Aug 2009

what is you plastic surgeon opinion?
I had only one side, I am not on the position to advice....
Probably do both if your plastic surgeon agree
It is very personal decision.
Good luck,
New Flower

jk1952's picture
jk1952
Posts: 613
Joined: May 2009

Your DIEP plastic surgeon should be able to make a recommendation, or at least, tell you what's possible. As you can see from my prior post, I chose to have the bilateral done so I could have both done using DIEP because I didn't want to have two different types of reconstruction. The DIEP has a relatively long recovery period, but you don't have to go through the fills, implants and then replacement implants down the road. I did have one additional surgery, to reduce one of the breasts to the size of the other, but normally, the only other thing that my surgeon does post-DIEP is nipples and tattooing that are done in his office.

I wish you well.

Joyce

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

I haven't had this surgery. I had a lumpectomy with rads. But, I wanted to wish you good luck!

Sue :)

TLynn0102
Posts: 86
Joined: Dec 2009

Cindy,
I had this surgery on January 21, 2009. If you have questions please feel free to send me a note. My best advice is to get lots of rest and listen to the doctors instructions.
Tracey

Dr3amline's picture
Dr3amline
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2010

Tracey,

How long was your recovery? Were both of your breasts Diep flaps? How long after surgery were you able to stand straight up??

Do you live in Wisconsin..if so, who was your Surgeon??

Thanks

cindy

wendybia's picture
wendybia
Posts: 73
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Cindy..I'm new on here but had Diep Dec 21st...i had one breast done...monday will be three weeks...was ok'd to drive thursday..do everything they tell you..walk..when you get up talk to yourself and say..straight up....straight up...i said i had multi personalities i talked to myself with all the reminders..my multi's are gone....keep a good attitude...walk...rest....drink lots of water...DO WHAT THEY TELL YOU...6- 8 weeks recovery is nothing compared to alternatives...hang in there...wendy

TLynn0102
Posts: 86
Joined: Dec 2009

I had both of my breasts done on January 21st last year. My surgeon is Dr. Kinney out of Brookfield, WI. He is awesome and does a fantastic job! It took me about a week to sleep on the couch (I slept in the recliner) and another 3 weeks to make it up the stairs to my bed. I was upright and walking about a week and a half after surgery. Hence the new nickname my husband gave me...Grandma...because I walked like a little old lady! Lifting your arms takes time and is a slow process, it was about a month before I could put them over my head. If physical therapy is an option discuss it with your team, I did not have any and wish I would have asked about it. The key is to listen to what the doctor tells you. You won't be able to lift anything and will need help the first couple of weeks at home. My mom came and stayed by me the first week when my husband had to go to work so I could get to and from the bathroom. :-) By the second week I was able to be on my own. The recovery time is long I won't lie but I am thriled with the outcome. I hope this helps a little. Look Dr. Kinney up on the internet, he is with Milwaukee Plastic Surgeons. Let me know if you have anyother questions, I'd be happy to help where I can.
Tracey

Dr3amline's picture
Dr3amline
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2010

Tracey-

Do you have any pictures to share of your breasts or your tummy tuck. Did you have to gain any wieght for this surgery? Besides being sore any other complications you endured with this surgery?

cindy

Momof_4
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 2009

Hi, I had a DIEP flap surgery on Dec 22, 2009 on one breast. It was a very difficult decsion about whether to have bilateral or unilateral. I read lots of research articles about the risk for cancer in my other breast and spoke to lots of people and finally chose to have unilateral. I am very happy with the outcome in spite of the slower recovery - due to the abdominal surgery. However, I still wonder if I should've done bilateral so I would not have to worry at all about my other breast. I can't go back now, and my family was very insistent about getting unilateral - so there was a lot of pressure on me to go unilateral. I'm now 2 1/2 weeks out and am now able to drive, though still having trouble sleeping on my back. I can lean to the side a bit more each night so my recovery is improving measurably each day. My reconstructed breast feels just like my other breast - soft and warm - like I said, I am very pleased with the results. I look forward to seeing my stomach flatter as the swelling continues to go down. I was diagnosed with early DCIS and was given every option available. It truly is a personal decision and I hope and pray that you will be confident and at peace with the decision that you make for yourself.

Fabu's picture
Fabu
Posts: 29
Joined: Apr 2010

I had the Diep flap procedure immediately after a double masectomy on 2/26/10. My right diep took fine and feels like a natural breast. The left did not take and had to be removed and replaced with an expander. However, my surgeon said this is pretty rare. I would do it again if I could. Good luck!!

livinupnorth
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi, I noticed your email from 2010.  I live in northern wisconsin and have chosen a suregeon at froedert in milwaukee for Diep flap...did youhave surgery and if so could you update me on your choices.  thanks maryg

livinupnorth
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi, I noticed your email from 2010.  I live in northern wisconsin and have chosen a suregeon at froedert in milwaukee for Diep flap...did youhave surgery and if so could you update me on your choices.  thanks maryg

livinupnorth
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi, I noticed your email from 2010.  I live in northern wisconsin and have chosen a suregeon at froedert in milwaukee for Diep flap...did youhave surgery and if so could you update me on your choices.  thanks maryg

livinupnorth
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi, I noticed your email from 2010.  I live in northern wisconsin and have chosen a suregeon at froedert in milwaukee for Diep flap...did youhave surgery and if so could you update me on your choices.  thanks maryg

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