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DIEP Flap Houston

The DIEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) Flap procedure represents one of the most encouraging new advances with post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. This, also, applies to the SIEA which is a variation of the DIEP flap. Dr. Chevray wrote one of the first scientific articles popularizing the SIEA flap for breast reconstruction in 2004.

The DIEP flap and SIEA flap procedures can boast of multiple benefits:

  • Patients are able to utilize their own tissue, as with the traditional TRAM flap
  • Any risks of abdominal hernias and weakness are minimized
  • Less post-operative discomfort is realized when compared to a TRAM flap
  • Recuperation time is reduced due to less pain because the abdominal muscles are not removed.

It is possible the DIEP flap or SIEA flap procedures may not be the best option for certain individuals. For example, a prospective patient may not have the required amount of extra skin and fatty tissue, or may have had previous extensive abdominal surgery which would preclude the DIEP flap, or SIEA flap techniques. Because of this, Dr. Chevray advises non-candidates to thoughtfully consider all options within Dr. Chevray’s area of expertise regarding breast reconstruction and breast restoration. Due to Dr. Chevray’s wealth of experience and insight regarding a variety of available procedures, he can fully meet patient’s individual needs and varied preferences.

DIEP Flap and SIEA Flap Technique

The DIEP flap and SIEA flap procedures involve advanced microsurgery; and these techniques have developed a reputation for being favored over the TRAM flap. Involved in the DIEP flap and SIEA flap procedurs, the skin and attached fatty tissues from the abdomen are harvested while the muscle and abdominal wall fascia are allowed to remain.

Dr. Chevray will remove the perforator vessels and the main pedicle blood vessels that run through the muscle. The attached illustration shows those vessels being extracted from the surrounding muscle, which, as stated, remains in place. With both the DIEP/SIEA flap and TRAM flap techniques, the incision scar is the same. In addition, due to the skin and underlying fatty tissue that are removed from the abdomen, the patient’s abdominal wall takes on a more aesthetic, re-contoured appearance, which is nearly identical to having had a cosmetic tummy-tuck procedure.

DIEP Flap and SIEA Flap Considerations

Any surgical procedure can have inherent drawbacks; and a DIEP flap and SIEA flap afre no exception. To begin with, these techniques are complex, which translates into a longer surgery. Due to the intricacies of these surgies, there are very few gifted surgeons who can perform the microsurgical DIEP flap or SIEA flap procedures with ease, safety, reliability, and excellent cosmetic outcomes; but Dr. Chevray is among that few.

Dr. Chevray will make the careful determination regarding who does or does not medically qualify for a DIEP flap or SIEA flap breast reconstruction procedure. This case-by-case consideration is vital since it ensures a patient’s safety and well-being, at all times. Below, you will find some medical conditions that could disqualify some women from receiving the DIEP flap, or SIEA flap surgery:

  1. Significant cardiac or pulmonary disease – The concern: prolonged anesthesia
  2. Previous tummy-tuck (abdominoplasty) procedure.

Note that smoking, and morbid obesity increase the risks of infection and delayed healing of surgical wounds. While most surgeons will not perform TRAM, DIEP, or SIEA flap surgery on patients who smoke, or who are greatly overweight, Dr. Chevray is known for performing these types of micro-surgical breast reconstruction on higher risk patients to allow them to have breast reconstruction and breast restoration.

Women who have had most types of abdominal surgery such as C-sections, hysterectomies, and appendectomies typically remain good candidates for a DIEP flap or SIEA flap. Generally, most women who qualify for a TRAM flap would qualify for a DIEP flap or SIEA flap.

Give Us a Call

To learn more about Dr. Chevray and his areas of surgical expertise, we encourage you to visit the rest of our site. You will find additional information regarding plastic surgery procedures, breast reconstruction and resoration, cosmetic surgery, reconstructive microsurgery, and more. The answers to your questions are only a phone-call away; and we can schedule a personalized consultation where Dr. Chevray will be able to address your needs, concerns and goals.