DIEP Flap Connecticut and Houston

Dr. Craig has received years of training from Yale and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Connecticut, immersing herself in the complex microsurgical procedures required for DIEP flap surgery. Dr. Fusi F.A.C.S. M.B.A. is a current clinical faculty member of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Yale University Medical School and has twenty years of experience as a breast reconstruction expert. Both Dr. Craig and Dr. Fusi have received one-on-one training from leading international DIEP reconstruction surgeon Phillip Blondeel to support Connecticut patients with aesthetic excellence and expanded options for care.

What Is DIEP Flap Surgery?

As the preferred autologous perforator surgery for breast reconstruction, deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap surgery rebuilds the tissue removed from your breast during a mastectomy with tissue from your own body. Dr. Craig and Dr. Fusi prefer this treatment because DIEP flap surgery:

  • Leaves muscle untouched, allowing for faster healing of the donor site.
  • Results in fewer long-term complications when compared to prosthetic reconstruction.
  • Has a lower risk of infection than other procedures.
  • Is less likely to require revisional procedures.
  • Provides excellent long-term results that withstand time and grow proportionally with your body.
  • Can oftentimes be completed during the same surgery as your mastectomy.

DIEP flap breast reconstruction has the additional benefit of allowing women with larger breasts to restore their full volume following a mastectomy.

Should I Get DIEP Flap Surgery?

Women have vastly different body types that recommend or restrict options for breast reconstruction surgery. DIEP flap surgery is recommended for women who:

  • Have some extra tissue around their abdomen (higher percentage of body fat).
  • Need to restore all of their breast tissue after a mastectomy.
  • Are in good health.

Although DIEP flap surgery is an advanced breast reconstruction procedure, there are some potential risks such as donor morbidity and free flap failure. Dr. Craig and Dr. Fusi take every possible precaution and carefully monitor your healing, intervening at the first sign of complication.

The Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Breast Reconstruction

A consultation and comprehensive review of your cancer treatment plan is an essential part of planning your DIEP flap surgery. Dr. Fusi and Dr. Craig will work with other experts to form a multidisciplinary breast cancer treatment team to determine the most beneficial procedure that incurs the lowest risk. During a consultation they will consider:

  • If chemotherapy and radiation are part of your treatment plan.
  • The donor site best suited for tissue graft based on your body type and preferences.
  • Cosmetic results that you want from your breast reconstruction surgery.

Your consultation will give you a clear idea of the options available for breast reconstruction and Dr. Craig and Dr. Fusi will outline the benefits and risks associated with each one.

What Will Happen During Surgery?

If your treatment plan permits, Dr. Craig and Dr. Fusi will perform your DIEP flap surgery immediately after your breast surgeon removes all of the breast tissue. While your breast cancer surgeon is performing their portion of the surgery, Dr. Craig and Dr. Fusi will be:

  • Removing tissue and extra skin from your lower abdomen.
  • Closing the incision in your abdomen to minimize scarring.
  • Grafting this tissue to your breast using microsurgical techniques to connect blood vessels. Blood supply is crucial to your tissue graft integrating
  • Close the incision on your breast to promote healing.

Once you are out of surgery, the doctors will check that you are doing well and perform several follow-up exams to ensure healthy healing during recovery.

How Do I Find a Qualified Surgeon in Connecticut?

DIEP flap surgery is an involved procedure that needs the delicate touch of a microsurgeon coupled with the aesthetic expertise of a skilled plastic surgeon. Because this procedure involves moving tissue from one part of your body to another, microsurgical training is particularly important to ensure continuous blood supply to your new breast.

Dr. Craig and Dr. Fusi treat Connecticut patients using these specialized techniques developed over their years of:

  • Advanced plastic surgery training from Yale.
  • Microsurgical training from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Connecticut.
  • Board Certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
  • One-on-one training from pioneering DIEP reconstructive surgeon Phillip Blondeel.
  • Approachability and willingness to inform and explain all steps of the procedure.
  • Experience working on multidisciplinary breast cancer reconstruction teams to determine the ideal time for treatment.

Choosing a less experienced breast reconstruction surgeon to perform your surgery increases your risk of complications such as infection, delayed healing, and blood clots.

To learn more about DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery, contact our offices in Connecticut at 203-458-4444 or Houston at 713-346-9909.