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Stacked DIEP Flap

Jandali Plastic Surgery

Being diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing a mastectomy can be life-altering experiences for women, leaving them with physical and emotional scars. Fortunately, breast reconstruction can help women regain their sense of femininity and self-confidence. One of the most advanced options for breast reconstruction is the Stacked DIEP flap procedure.

What is a Stacked DIEP Flap?

A Stacked DIEP flap is a type of microsurgical breast reconstruction that uses tissue from the patient’s own body to rebuild the breast. Unlike traditional breast reconstruction methods, the Stacked DIEP flap procedure does not rely on implants.. Instead, it uses a patient’s own lower abdominal tissue, including skin, fat, and blood vessels, to create a natural-looking and feeling breast.

What makes the Stacked DIEP flap procedure unique is its use of two DIEP flaps from each side of the lower abdomen, one stacked on top of the other, to rebuild the breast. This approach is performed for women who need to create a larger breast than what only one DIEP flap would be able to create for them. 

Benefits of Stacked DIEP Flap Procedure

The Stacked DIEP flap procedure offers several benefits for women who are undergoing breast reconstruction, including:

  • Natural-looking result: The Stacked DIEP flap procedure uses a patient’s own tissue to create a new breast, resulting in a natural-looking and feeling breast that closely resembles the patient’s original breast.
  • Increased volume: Using two DIEP flaps can provide increased volume in the reconstructed breast, creating a more proportionate and aesthetically pleasing result compared to the opposite breast.
  • No need for implants: Using two DIEP flaps avoids the need to use an implant for additional volume.

Ideal Candidates for Stacked DIEP Flap Procedure

Women who are considering the Stacked DIEP flap procedure should be in good general health and have sufficient abdominal tissue to use for the reconstruction. Women who have had previous abdominal surgeries or have abdominal hernia repair with mesh may not be suitable candidates for this procedure.

It is important to have a thorough consultation with Dr. Jandali to determine if the Stacked DIEP flap procedure is the right choice for you. During the consultation, Dr. Jandali will evaluate your medical history, perform a physical examination, and discuss your goals and expectations for breast reconstruction.

How Does the Procedure Work?

The Stacked DIEP flap procedure is performed in the hospital and takes approximately 7 to 9 hours to complete. Here is a step-by-step guide to what you can expect during the procedure:

  • Anesthesia: You will be under general anesthesia for the entire procedure, so you won’t feel or remember anything. In addition, the anesthesia team performs nerve blocks that help with postoperative pain control.
  • Incision: Dr. Jandali will make a lower abdominal incision to harvest the two DIEP flaps. There will also be scars on the breast in order to transplant the tissue for breast reconstruction.
  • Dissection of blood vessels and transfer of the tissue: The blood vessels are carefully dissected and connected to blood vessels in the chest area.
  • Molding the tissue: Dr. Jandali will use sutures and other techniques to sculpt the tissue into the desired breast shape.
  • Closure of incision: The incisions will be closed with sutures and drains will be placed.

It is important to follow all of Dr. Jandali’s instructions for aftercare, including wound care and limitations, to help you heal properly and achieve the best possible results. Dr. Jandali will also provide you with a schedule for follow-up appointments to monitor your progress and address any concerns you may have.

Recovery after Stacked DIEP Flap Procedure

The recovery period after the Stacked DIEP flap procedure will vary for each individual. Most women can expect to return to work within 2-3 weeks after the procedure. During the first few weeks of recovery, it is important to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities to allow the tissue to heal properly. Patients can return to exercise with no limitations about 8 weeks after surgery. 

Mild discomfort is common after the Stacked DIEP flap procedure and can be managed with pain medication. Dr. Jandali will also provide you with a schedule for follow-up appointments to monitor your progress and address any concerns you may have.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Stacked DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction?

Stacked DIEP Flap is an advanced type of breast reconstruction that uses two sets of tissue flaps from the lower abdomen to reconstruct the breast after a mastectomy, providing greater volume for women with more abundant abdominal tissue.

How does Stacked DIEP differ from traditional DIEP Flap Reconstruction?

The main difference is the number of flaps used. While traditional DIEP uses one flap from the abdomen, Stacked DIEP uses two, allowing for greater volume in the reconstructed breast.

Who is a good candidate for Stacked DIEP Flap Reconstruction?

Women with more abundant abdominal tissue who desire a larger reconstructed breast are ideal candidates. As always, your doctor will help determine if this procedure is right for you.

What is the recovery process like for a Stacked DIEP Flap procedure?

Recovery from Stacked DIEP is similar to traditional DIEP, involving a few days in the hospital followed by a period of rest and gradual resumption of normal activities at home, based on your doctor’s guidance.

What kind of results can I expect from Stacked DIEP Flap Reconstruction?

With Stacked DIEP, you can expect a natural look and feel, as the procedure uses your own tissue for reconstruction. This procedure can also provide greater volume than traditional DIEP, especially beneficial for those desiring larger breasts. Results may vary based on individual circumstances.

Stacked DIEP Flaps for Better Breast Symmetry

In conclusion, the Stacked DIEP flap procedure is a highly-specialized option for women who are looking to rebuild their breast after mastectomy. With its use of two DIEP flaps, this procedure can provide a more natural-looking and feeling result with increased volume. 

If you are a resident of or near Connecticut and are considering breast reconstruction, we encourage you to visit Jandali Plastic Surgery in Trumbull. Dr. Jandali will provide you with a thorough consultation and help you determine if the Stacked DIEP flap procedure is the right choice for you. 

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