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Myths on DIEP Flap Surgery

With any new procedure in medicine, there are number of myths that sometimes percolate on the Internet or in the media.

MYTH: DIEP Flap Surgery is experimental

FACT: DIEP Flap surgery is not experimental. The reason people consider it experimental is very few plastic surgeons are fully trained in the DIEP Flap procedure

MYTH: If you had prior abdominal surgery, you are not a candidate for the DIEP Flap procedure

FACT: Most patients who had abdominal surgery such as C-sections or tummy tucks can still have DIEP Flap surgery. Some patients may have damaged blood vessels from prior procedures that would effect a DIEP Flap procedure as the blood vessels remain in tact as the flap is transferred to the pectoral region. By pinpointing the reliable blood vessels prior to surgery, the plastic surgeon can ensure the flap will be viable for breast reconstructions.

MYTH: Thin people can’t have DIEP Flap surgery

FACT: Breast reconstruction is typically done so the breasts are in proportion to the body. Because the patient is thin, the breasts that are to be reconstructed are not likely to be large so less tissue will need to be moved.

MYTH: My insurance company will not pay for a DIEP Flap procedure

FACT:  By law all health insurance companies are required to cover the expense of a breast reconstruction of an approved procedure following a mastectomy. The law allows the patient and her doctor to choose the best procedure for breast reconstruction.

MYTH: If I had problems with old breast implants, I am not a candidate for the DIEP Flap procedure

FACT: For people who have had old implants and need them replaced, the DIEP Flap procedure is a viable alternative.

MYTH: I am too old for a DIEP Flap procedure

FACT: Your age is not a factor in whether you are candidate for the procedure. You health is the number one factor in determining your selection for the DIEP Flap procedure.