After being in remission from breast cancer for a year, Shannen Doherty underwent breast reconstruction surgery in May, reports People magazine.
She chose DIEP flap reconstruction. This procedure uses a patient’s own skin and fat from the lower tummy to recreate the breast following a mastectomy. Because of Doherty’s thin physique, she had to gain a little weight before surgery. The surgeon performed what is referred to as a “Stacked DIEP” which is a great option for thin patients. The stacked DIEP flap procedure uses tissue from both sides of the lower abdomen to reconstruct a single breast. The standard DIEP flap procedure uses one side of the abdomen to reconstruct each breast.
Usually, when women select DIEP flap surgery they are looking for the best long-term solution to breast reconstruction since tissue reconstructions age with them — the reconstructed breast(s) gain weight when they gain weight and lose weight when they lose weight. The tissue ages more naturally and, unlike implants, these reconstructions never need to be redone.
It is important for patients to know implants are not the only option for reconstructive surgery. Unfortunately, advanced procedures like the DIEP flap are not offered by all reconstructive plastic surgeons since extensive experience in microsurgery is required to perform these surgeries successfully. Patients must therefore do their homework in finding surgeons with the appropriate expertise.