DIEP Flap Richmond
A deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap, or DIEP (pronounced “deep”) flap, represents the state of the art in breast reconstruction using a woman’s own tissues. This surgery removes the skin and fatty tissue from the lower abdomen, detaches it from the body, and reattaches it in the chest to make a new breast. Dr. Hubert is one of a very small number of plastic surgeons in the entire state to offer this reconstructive surgery, and he performs this operation routinely. In fact, Dr. Hubert learned this technique during his plastic surgery residency training in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania, working directly with one of the true pioneers in this field, Dr. Joseph Serletti. A DIEP flap for breast reconstruction may offer many advantages over breast implants, such as a permanent result, fewer revision surgeries in the future, a more natural appearance, especially when matching it to a normal breast on the other side, and the ability to bring in healthy, soft, and unradiated tissue to a breast that may have had severe radiation effects from breast cancer treatment. The surgery is very specialized and technically demanding, and it requires the use of the operating microscope to sew together tiny blood vessels using stitches smaller than a human hair. This is one of the reasons that Dr. Hubert is among very few plastic surgeons who have the ability and the clinical volume (meaning we perform a large number of these operations) to offer this breast reconstruction technique to patients outside a major academic medical center. But since no two breast cancer patients are the same, this means that all of your breast reconstruction options are on the table, and Dr. Hubert will work with you to come up with the best plan for your individual situation. Some women might not be candidates for a DIEP flap, and Dr. Hubert might discuss other advanced microsurgical options, such as using your inner thigh tissue (a TUG flap) or upper buttock tissue (an SGAP flap), which he also performs. Dr. Hubert is an active member of the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery, a professional organization of surgeons from around the world who meet to share ideas and techniques related to these very complex microsurgical operations. If a DIEP flap, or TUG flap or SGAP flap for that matter, is the right choice for you, then as a patient, you want to make sure you have a surgeon who has the capability and experience to offer you the best result. Dr. Hubert has literally performed hundreds of DIEP flaps and currently is able to offer this advanced technique at Johnston Willis Hospital, St. Francis Medical Center, and St. Mary’s Hospital in the Richmond area.
46 year old woman with breast cancer on the left. She had chemotherapy before surgery. Her bra size was 36DDD, and she wanted to be smaller after her surgery.