• What are complications or issues with DIEP FLAP procedure?

    Asked by norm828 on Saturday, February 9, 2013

    What are complications or issues with DIEP FLAP procedure?

    3 Answers from the Community

    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      Rejection of the transplant is not an uncommon complication. How well the transplant takes has a lot to do with how good your surgeon is. However, even the best surgeons have rejection rates. If you're a smoker, there is more likelihood of rejection. Your surgeon will evaluate if you're a good candidate for this.
      For those who have successful implants, stomach muscle weakness can be an issue (the surgeon takes a piece of stomach muscle along with the fat). But attitude is everything, and I'm not sure to what extent the muscle thing is truly limiting, as some people can become (forgive me for this) big whiners. While I worked through my surgeries and all that, I know someone who didnt get chemo yet ended up on disability.
      I ended up getting the latissimus dorsi thing with implants (not enough tissue for two breasts). When I was evaluating diep I saw many good outcomes, talked to women that ad it done. The ACS should be able to put you in touch with someone who had it done. It helps a lot.

      over 3 years ago
    • whirl's Avatar

      I chose silicone implants as I didn't want to lose the core strength. I am a runner that wanted to continue racing at a high level. The advice of checking with ACS was a good suggestion. A question I would raise is what happens to peter when you rob it to pay for paul.

      over 3 years ago
    • Jaimebrie's Avatar

      Hi norm828,
      I had bilateral DIEP FLAP reconstruction and i am extremely happy with my results! I have a great plastic surgeon who did an amazing job! I also had liposuction and fat grafting with excellent results.
      I did have bilateral nipple reconstruction and areola tattooing which also came out amazing. I am so glad that I had it done. DIEP FLAP is a huge surgery - mine was 12 hours with 8 days in hospital, 2 in ICU. I did not have any complications. It was so worth it. I would do it again. I did go home with 9 drains. I could not bend down or lift more than 5 pounds for 2 months. I could only raise my arms by bending them at the elbows with my hand just up to my shoulder. But it is so worth it! Also, get all button down tops because you cannot pull clothes over your head. I also wore drawstring scrub pants. I had physical therapy in hospital which was a huge help, with how to get up from bed and chair and going up stairs and just walking. My plastic surgeon had done many many of these procedures and I had all the confidence in the world in her, which I think is really important. Good luck with whatever you decide. Best always, and stay strong,

      over 3 years ago

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