DIEP Flap Reconstruction

in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

DIEP flap reconstruction is a form of reconstruction that uses a flap of skin and subcutaneous fat from the abdomen to reconstruct the breast(s). DIEP stands for deep inferior epigastric perforator artery, which runs through the abdomen wall directly beneath the rectus muscle. During the operation the abdominal cavity is not entered and the rectus muscle meticulously dissected free from the vessels allowing for complete preservation of the muscle.  This procedure required special surgical training, as well as expertise in microsurgery, so not all surgeons can perform DIEP flap reconstruction, and it is not available at all hospitals. Dr. Cusimano is highly skilled in DIEP flap reconstruction, so you can feel confident choosing him as your reconstructive surgeon.

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Who is a Candidate for DIEP Flap Reconstruction?

Most women who choose autologous breast reconstruction are candidates for DIEP flap reconstruction. Ideal candidates will be nonsmokers with an appropriate amount of tissue to be used as donor tissue in the abdomen. Individuals who have already had certain abdominal surgeries may not be good candidates, but other options exist. A consultation with Dr. Cusimano is the best way to determine if this reconstruction technique is right for you.


Before & After




The DIEP Flap Procedure

After being diagnosed with skin cancer, it is important that individuals remove the cancerous lesions/areas as soon as possible. When it comes to reconstruction, the extent of your procedure to remove the cancerous lesion will affect the type of reconstruction technique necessary. There are a number of cancer treatment options, including surgery to remove cancerous growths, which may result in missing skin, underlying bone, or tissue. Cancer reconstructive surgery can help to repair appearance and functionality for a better quality of life. When it comes to cancer reconstruction, there are a number of techniques that can be used to achieve a natural-looking result, including:


Following DIEP flap reconstruction, you will be moved to a recovery room. You will then have to stay in the hospital for three to five days to ensure that your body is going through the proper early stages of healing and the flap is doing well. Dr. Cusimano will provide you with specific instructions to follow during your recovery. It can take about 4-6 weeks to recover from DIEP flap surgery. You may need to wear a supportive surgical bra for up to 2-4 weeks after surgery. Because no muscle is used during this technique, most patients recover more quickly and have better abdominal muscle strength compared to the TRAM flap procedures traditionally done in the past. The majority of women also choose to have “finishing” procedures done, including reshaping of the flap or reconstruction of the nipple once they have adequately recovered from the initial operation.  The secondary procedures are much less strenuous for the patients, and all are done on an outpatient basis (no hospital time required).