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DIEP Flap Procedure

Conveniently located to serve Hoboken, Ridgewood, Livingston, Pompton Plains, and Manhattan/NYC

The possibilities and techniques for breast reconstruction following a mastectomy have expanded tremendously and the DIEP flap procedure (Deep Inferior Epigastric artery Perforator Flap) is one of the most sophisticated breast reconstruction procedures performed today. Due to their complexity, however, few surgical teams currently perform them. The surgeons at East Coast Advanced Plastic Surgery’s Center for Breast Reconstruction are proud to offer this reconstructive surgery to our patients. One of our most fundamental missions is to offer breast cancer survivors the most advanced and beneficial procedures to help them feel comfortable and whole in their bodies again. Call us at 201.449.1000 or use our online form to schedule an appointment right now.


  • Natural Tissue Reconstruction: Patients who prefer a natural treatment approach often choose the DIEP flap procedure over breast implants. Since this procedure reconstructs the breasts using tissue from the patient’s lower abdomen, there is no risk of allergic reaction as can occur with breast implants, and patients can enjoy natural-looking and feeling results.
  • Lower Risk of Complications: Implant-related complications, such as ruptured implants and capsular contraction, can be avoided with DIEP flap surgery since it does not introduce foreign objects into the body.
  • Improved Abdominal Contours: The primary objective of DIEP flap surgery is breast reconstruction. However, patients also achieve a flatter, slimmer abdominal area through the surgical removal of tissue from this region.
  • Long-Lasting Results: Unlike breast implants, which may require replacement every 10-15 years, DIEP flap surgery results are permanent.


  • Consultation with a Skilled Surgeon: The first step of the treatment process is to schedule your consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon at East Coast Advanced Plastic Surgery. At this appointment, you will discuss your expectations and concerns, learn more about the procedure, and find out if you are a good candidate.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: You will need to establish and maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine to optimize your overall health before surgery and promote an expedient recovery.
  • Smoking Cessation: If you smoke, quitting is essential. Smoking can hinder the body’s healing capability and increase the risk of complications.
  • Preoperative Assessments: Follow your surgeon’s instructions for preoperative assessments, such as blood tests and medical evaluations.
  • Support System: Arrange for assistance during your recovery. You will have physical activity restrictions for several days following your surgery.
  • Mental Preparation: It’s normal to have anxiety before surgery. Engage in relaxation techniques or consider speaking with a therapist if needed.
  • Surgical Expectations: Discuss the surgical process and recovery timeline with your surgeon to understand what to expect.

What happens during a DIEP flap procedure?

A DIEP procedure begins with the same lower abdominal incision as a TRAM flap procedure or an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). The surgeon then transplants the skin and fat from the area between the belly button and the pelvis to rebuild a naturally shaped breast. In contrast to a standard TRAM abdominal flap procedure, in a DIEP flap procedure, the abdominal muscles are left fully intact, which preserves the normal abdominal anatomy and reduces the occurrence of abdominal wall hernias and weakness.

While DIEP flap procedures are an excellent choice for many women, others may be better suited to different reconstructive methods. During your one on one consultation, your ECAPS surgeon will help you determine whether or not you are a good candidate for a DIEP flap procedure.

Am I a good candidate for DIEP Flap surgery?

You may be a good candidate for the DIEP Flap procedure if one or more of the following are true:
  • You are in the relatively good physical condition and could withstand major surgery
  • You have undergone, or are planning to undergo, a mastectomy
  • Your breasts have been damaged or are missing due to a birth defect, injury, radiation, mastectomy, or lumpectomy
  • You are bothered by a breast abnormality, defect, or asymmetry that causes you to feel less feminine

During your one-on-one consultation with a surgeon at one of our ECAPS offices in New Jersey, you will go over these considerations in order to ensure that your surgery is a success. It is important to note that the look and feel of a reconstructed breast will never be identical to that of a natural breast. An open, honest discussion of your desired breast size and expected outcome will determine whether your desires can be realistically achieved. You should be prepared to discuss your full medical history during your consultation, including any medical conditions, previous surgeries or treatments, drug allergies, current medications, and use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal substances.


DIEP Flap Procedure Before & After

Hybrid Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap Reconstruction (DIEP)
Bilateral Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap Reconstruction (DIEP)

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Considerations for a DIEP Flap procedure:

The following factors are also important to consider before undergoing a DIEP flap procedure:
  • Age: Breast reconstruction for breast cancer patients may be performed at any age, but it is best if the breast has fully stopped developing.
  • Cancer Treatment: Ongoing cancer treatments can affect the optimal timing of certain procedures, and can dictate which procedures are performed at which time. It is important to discuss with your plastic surgeon how your cancer treatment will affect your reconstruction. At times, multiple procedures may be necessary for optimal reconstruction outcomes.
  • Pregnancy: It is important to inform your New Jersey area, cosmetic surgeon, if you are considering having children in the future. Pregnancy can cause bodily changes, which can affect the long-term results of your surgery.
Review from F.D. | Source: Google | Jun 3, 2020

“Amazing team of doctors. These guys made my wife & I feel so comfortable in her entire breast cancer process. Like everyone else said, they make you feel like family. Highly recommended!”

Surgery and Recovery

Depending on the type of tissue used in your surgery, breast reconstruction surgery typically requires admission to the hospital for 3-5 days. After a DIEP flap procedure, you are usually able to walk the following day and will be up and about in the hospital room within the first 24 hours of surgery. The hospital stay is required because it is necessary for nurses to attend to the monitoring of the abdominal flap. You should also expect a catheter to drain urine for 24 hours, compression stocking on your legs, and drains that will remove fluid from the breasts and the abdomen.

Your breasts and abdomen will be sore and tender to the touch for the first few days following surgery. It is important that you do not lift, bend, pull, or push anything, and do not engage in any strenuous activity for at least two weeks following your surgery. More specifically, you will not be allowed to lift anything greater than 5 pounds for at least 4-6 weeks and usually will remain home from work for 2-4 weeks depending on your occupation.

Drainage tubes are usually removed after 5-14 days, and dressings will be removed within several days. You may be required to wear a supportive garment for comfort and to minimize swelling. Over time, some of your breast sensation may return. Scarring will improve, but will never fade completely. You should be able to resume normal activities after 6-8 weeks. It is important to remember that not all recovery processes are the same, and your experience may vary depending on your individual case.


You will be sent home with a list of detailed care instructions to ensure that your recovery process is a success. Your East Coast Advanced Plastic Surgery surgeon will be there to support you through every step of the process — from initial consultation through recovery.

How Much Does Flap Procedure Cost?

The cost of a DIEP Flap will depend on several factors. The price can be affected by body type, type of technique performed, surgical complications, and even allergies. Find out more by scheduling a consultation.

Schedule a Consultation

Contact East Coast Advanced Plastic Surgery today to schedule a consultation for your DIEP Flap Procedure in Hoboken, Ridgewood, Livingston, Pompton Plains, and Manhattan/NYC. We will take the time to guide you through the entire process, ensuring results that fully satisfy your aesthetic needs. Contact us today!

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