How Long After Chemotherapy Can a DIEP Flap Be Done?
If you’re undergoing cancer treatment in Houston and need a mastectomy, or have already received one but haven’t begun the breast reconstruction process yet, you may have encountered a new medical term that you might find to be a bit confusing – DIEP Flap. DIEP Flap surgery, which stands for deep inferior epigastric perforator, is one of the most advanced forms of breast reconstruction surgeries available. Often performed at the same time as a mastectomy, but sometimes performed afterward, a DIEP flap consists of removing skin, fat and its blood supply from the abdomen, then reattaching it to the breast through microsurgery.
Dr. Fusi & Dr. Craig have helped countless Houston women with DIEP Flap breast reconstruction surgery, and they have both traveled outside of Houston to receive one-on-one training from leading international DIEP reconstruction surgeon Phillip Blondeel. They are thoroughly knowledgeable about the DIEP Flap procedure and will answer any and all questions you may have about the surgery.
If you are currently undergoing breast cancer treatment in Houston and are planning to get a mastectomy, or have already received one but haven’t begun the breast reconstruction process yet, you might be wondering, “Am I a good candidate for a DIEP Flap surgery? And how does chemotherapy treatment affect a DIEP Flap?”
Many Women are Good Candidates for DIEP Flap Surgery
Despite their prior medical history, many women are good candidates for DIEP Flap surgery. Some women may think if they’ve had a C-section, hysterectomy or a tubal ligation, that they are unqualified for a DIEP Flap procedure. But many of these women can safely undergo a DIEP Flap, as long as they have ample skin and fat around their abdomen that can be removed to be used to reconstruct the breast.
Wait Until Your Chemotherapy Treatment is Finished.
Chemotherapy is an aggressive form of cancer treatment, and it puts a lot of stress on your body. Therefore, it is recommended that you wait until your chemotherapy treatment is over before undergoing a DIEP Flap procedure. Current recommendations are to wait four to six weeks after the completion of chemotherapy to allow your body time to heal.
This healing time is necessary because a mastectomy and a DIEP Flap are serious procedures. During a mastectomy, your breast tissue is completely removed. With a DIEP Flap, a procedure similar to a tummy tuck is performed to your abdomen, while keeping your abdominal muscles intact. The skin, fat and blood supply from your abdomen is then transferred to the breast and reconnected via advanced microsurgery. You need to make sure your body is strong and has recovered from chemotherapy before undergoing a DIEP Flap.
Call Us with Any Questions
If you have questions about a DIEP Flap surgery, we want to hear from you! Call us in our houston office at (713) 346-9909 to schedule a consultation. During a consultation, you can ask Dr. Fusi & Dr. Craig any questions you have, and view our before and after photos, which are not available online to protect patient privacy. We hope to hear from you today!