DIEP flap for breast reconstruction

Picture of DIEP flap for breast reconstruction

DIEP (deep inferior epigastric artery perforator) flap is a type of breast reconstruction surgery. The surgeon takes fat and skin (but not muscle) from the lower belly area. Saving the muscle helps avoid later belly weakness. By reducing fat and skin in the belly, DIEP surgery results in a "tummy tuck."

DIEP is a "free flap" surgery, which means the tissue and blood vessels are cut. After the flap is in place, the surgeon sews the blood vessels in the flap to blood vessels in the chest area. This requires careful surgery using a microscope.

Last Updated: August 18, 2009

Author: Bets Davis, MFA

Medical Review: Joy Melnikow, MD, MPH - Family Medicine & Douglas A. Stewart, MD - Medical Oncology

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