Innovative breast reconstruction procedure blends advanced technique with natural results
By John G. Apostolides, M.D.
Most people associate breast implants — pouches filled with either saline or silicone – with the breast enhancement process; and for many years, such implants have been the primary options available for both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. Traditional implants are still a safe and effective option for patients who elect to undergo surgery for purely aesthetic reasons; but when it comes to post-mastectomy or trauma-related reconstruction, a new procedure known as the DIEP flap is pioneering more natural, functional and aesthetic results for cancer and injury survivors.
The Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP) flap is an innovative procedure that combines the principles of tummy tuck surgery with those of breast reconstruction for implant-free balance and proportion. The procedure involves the transfer of excess fat and skin from the abdomen to the breast by way of a small blood vessel that feeds blood to the tissue. The relevant blood vessels are then reconnected to an artery and vein in the breast, resulting in tissue replacement that allows for an unprecedented degree of “natural” reconstruction. Patients thus achieve both the body contouring results of a tummy tuck and the advantages of a realistic, implant-free breast reconstruction – all without the abdominal muscle trauma involved in traditional TRAM tummy tuck surgery.
Plastic surgeons and breast reconstruction specialists agree that the DIEP flap procedure is one of the most advanced and up-to-date techniques available today; and for patients who want to achieve a proportional appearance after a traumatic injury or mastectomy without the risk of implant-oriented complications, this surgery is an ideal option. However, because the DIEP procedure is still very new, it is critical that patients seek out an experienced surgeon who is intimately familiar with the intricacies of the procedure.
Expertise with experience to match — right here in San Diego
After years of involvement with breast reconstruction surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, I can attest to the advantages and effectiveness of the DIEP flap method – as well as the satisfaction found in helping cancer survivors and trauma patients achieve their health and recovery goals. Now, at La Jolla’s SK Clinic, I’m delighted to bring this cutting-edge technique to San Diego; and together with my colleagues, I look forward to sharing my passion and expertise with the local community.
At SK Clinic, we strive to unite new advances in the medical, cosmetic and plastic surgery fields with a sense of comfort and ease; and whether patients choose us for breast reconstruction, body contouring procedures and facelifts, or for minimally invasive treatments at our affiliate SK Sanctuary luxury spa, we offer customized consultations, top-quality care and premier medical experience to help guide individuals towards the procedures and products best suited to their needs. To learn more about our services, visit us online: www.sk-clinic.com.
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