DIEP (deep inferior epigastric artery perforator) flap is a type of breast reconstruction surgery. The surgeon takes fat and skin (but not muscle) from the lower belly area. Saving the muscle helps avoid later belly weakness. By reducing fat and skin in the belly, DIEP surgery results in a "tummy tuck."
DIEP is a "free flap" surgery, which means the tissue and blood vessels are cut. After the flap is in place, the surgeon sews the blood vessels in the flap to blood vessels in the chest area. This requires careful surgery using a microscope.
Last Revised: June 28, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Douglas A. Stewart, MD - Medical Oncology
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