The DIEP breast reconstruction procedure is used to recreate soft, plump breasts made entirely out living fat. In almost every case it can be done on the same day as your mastectomy which means you won’t need any additional surgery or healing time before getting back in action!
Not only does it allow you the option for immediate healing following a mastectomy, it may be performed at a later date. This is known as “delayed reconstruction.” Almost all women are candidates for immediate reconstruction, so speaking with your team prior to mastectomy about reconstruction is important.
Occasionally, a “bridging implant” reconstruction is used before DIEP breast reconstruction to allow women with a more advanced disease requiring radiation treatment to benefit from skin sparing or nipple sparing mastectomy as well.
The DIEP breast reconstruction, gives you the option of not needing tissue expanders in future surgeries. It also provides women who have had mastectomies before with an improved abdominal shape and flatters their new breasts by using fat from unwanted areas.
It is important to resume normal activities as recommended by Dr. Mallol, but avoid strenuous activity for 4-6 weeks. If you are pain free and no longer taking medication then it’s okay to drive after 2 – 3 weeks have passed since surgery with instructions from a clinic team member about postmastectomy range of motion exercises that will help strengthen the arms again!