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Reconstructive breast surgery

Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator Flap surgery

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

About

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 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.
  • Afterwards 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. Your consultant will show you what to do and explain when to do them. Also, your bra can often help to support and mould the reconstruction and your surgeon can advise you about this.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

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

Our facilities

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

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • facility-HSC-flag-hero-582x582

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London

    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 3131 7962

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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