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Having bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction DIEP flap... questions!

By Anonymous July 24, 2009 - 9:01pm
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I am getting ready to have bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction with DIEP flap procedure. I was diagnosed with DCIS in my left breast and have elected to remove the right breast to have peace of mind and to avoid ever being in this terrible place of dealing with this ever again.

I have wanted to lose weight for a number of years and have recently lost 25 lbs only to find out that now I need it for my DIEP flap to reconstruct my breasts. I am currently a C cup and would love to be the same or even a little larger if possible. Anyone know how much tissue is needed to do the reconstruction? Anyone else gone through this? Thanks so much for any info or thoughts you might be able to share.

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EmpowHER Guest

Can anyone tell me if they've had any problems getting insurance to pay for this surgery? I have good insurance.

March 9, 2012 - 10:13am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I had bilateral mastectomies with DIEP flap reconstruction in Jacksonville, FL. My surgeons were Dr. Desai and Dr. Fallucco They were great from start to finish. I love the results and I had no difficulty getting it covered by insurance. They are in-network for most major insurance carriers. Their compassion is wonderful and I recommend them highly. Their website is http://www.plasticsurgeryjacksonville.com.

March 20, 2012 - 5:05pm
HERWriter Guide

Anon1 and Anon2 - I'd like to thank both of you for writing in and sharing so much information about what you experienced. I've been a breast cancer survivor for more than 20 years. While each woman's journey is unique, all of us have the ability to share and reach out to each other. I hope you will be there for other women in the future who may come to the site with questions that only you can answer. All the best to both of you!! Pat

January 4, 2010 - 5:46pm
EmpowHER Guest

I'm not sure how much tissue is needed exactly, but I do know that if you don't have enough they can do the Gap Flap (I think that is what it is called) they remove tissue from your backside. Check out the website where I had my Diep Flap done www.breastcenter.com They now have their own hospital where they only do breast reconstruction. Wonderful Doctors, they also have a photo gallery of before and after pictures. When I went I stayed at the Hope Lodge , ran by the American Cancer Society. It is a fabulous place. Best of luck to you. Oh, I had a mastectomy on my right breast, when I went to do the DIEP flap, I had a skin sparing mastectomy on my left breast. They only removed the tissue. I also chose to have a mastectomy on my other breast , just like you, I wanted less of a chance of it coming back.

January 4, 2010 - 5:02am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Thank you!! I truly have peace of mind now and I am very happy with my outcome from surgery. I had a skin sparing bilateral mastectomy and had immediate DIEP reconstruction. Now I feel it is important to reach out to other women who are in the journey behind me. Hugs to all of you!!

January 4, 2010 - 9:52am
EmpowHER Guest

Thanks for the info! I did have my bilateral mastectomy with immediate DIEP reconstruction in San Antonio. They were able to use enough from my tummy to reconstruct my breasts (which are fuller now than before!) and give me a nice flat tummy. I am so very happy with the outcome and the cancer is out of me! That is even better! I appreciate the information here. I can't say enough great things about Dr. Chrysopoulo at PRMA in San Antonio www.prma-enhance.com Many blessings, Tammy

January 3, 2010 - 5:35pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Very Happy for you Congratulations =] There are so many wonderful DIEP reconstructive doctors out there and I am so thankful for that. I met alot of women that had the DIEP flap at a conference I went to in Jacksonville Florida. They were from many different areas in the US and all had wonderful doctors. Its great that we have this choice after going through so much.

January 4, 2010 - 5:14am
(reply to Anonymous)

Thank you for sharing this resource, and I am so happy to hear that you are not only happy with the outcome of your appearance, but that your cancer has been successfully treated!

January 3, 2010 - 8:57pm
EmpowHER Guest

I had the DIEP flap done in 2007. When I went to have it done i only had mastectomy on my right breast. They did a skin sparing 0n my second breast during my DIEP surgery. If you don't have enough tissue in your belly , they can take from your glute (behind) You can look at the site where i had mine done. www.breastcenter.com they have a photo gallery also. Love the doctors there. I traveled from Indy to New Orleans for the DIEP flap. Have many, many friends here that went there. Best of luck to you!

October 15, 2009 - 11:19am
(reply to Anonymous)


Thank you so very much for writing about your experience. There's nothing like hearing from other women when it comes to dealing with our own conditions or undergoing our own procedures. It's also so interesting that you and many of your friends traveled to have this surgery.

For others who are reading, the page she refers to is the home page of the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery in New Orleans, Louisiana. It introduces you to their doctors and procedures with detailed information and photographs. The procedures they do include:

--Nipple sparing
--DIEP flap
--"Stacked" DIEP flap
--SIEA flap
--SGAP flap
--IGAP flap
--Bilateral Simultaneous Immediate GAP flap
--Hip flap
--One Step Alloderm Implant Reconstruction
--Lymphedema treatment
--Poland's syndrome treatment
--BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 gene screening and genetic counseling

Thanks again for writing, Anon. Best of luck to you.

October 16, 2009 - 9:13am
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