Reconstructive breast surgery

Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator Flap surgery

Breast replacement using the Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator (DIEP) Flap technique

What is a DIEP breast reconstruction?

Your surgeon might be able to use your own body tissue to make a new breast during a mastectomy operation, or some time afterwards.

They call this a Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator (DIEP) Flap reconstruction as it uses a 'flap' of muscle taken from elsewhere on your body. 

Need to know

  • What happens during DIEP breast surgery? icon plus

    Your surgeon takes skin, fat, and sometimes muscle (a flap) from another part of your body and makes it into a breast shape. The flap needs a good blood supply or the tissue will die. Your surgeon will leave the body tissue connected to its original blood vessels, or they can cut the blood vessels and reconnect them to blood vessels under your arm or in your chest wall.

    DIEP flap might suit you if:

    • you have large breasts
    • you've had radiotherapy
    • you had a radical mastectomy that also removed your chest muscle
    • you have a tight mastectomy scar
    • you want a softer and more realistic feel than a silicone implant might provide
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will tell you how to prepare for this procedure. You may not be able to have this type of surgery if you have diabetes, are a heavy smoker, or are very overweight.
  • After DIEP surgery icon plus

    Your consultant will tell you when you should be able to to resume your normal routine. In the meantime you'll need to do some exercises to get your arm and shoulder moving properly again. You will be shown what exercises to do and  when to do them.

    Your bra can often help to support and mould the reconstruction and your surgeon can advise you about this.

Our reconstructive breast consultants

Our breast and oncoplastic surgeons are experienced in providing complex reconstructive surgery and managing breast conditions.

Our consultants are supported by experienced nurses and physiotherapist who will support you whilst you are in hospital and following treatment.

Our breast surgery locations

From complex breast surgery to straightforward breast screening procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Book an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you can make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
back to top