There are several ways for a Plastic & Reconstructive surgeon to reconstruct the breast. One common way to reconstruct the breast is with an autologous tissue reconstruction of the breast with tissue from the lower abdomen. When we reconstruct the breast with the patient’s own body tissues, we call this an autologous breast reconstruction. In an autologous breast reconstruction, the patient’s internal mammary vessels are isolated after the mastectomy and then the skin and fat from the lower abdomen is isolated on the deep inferior epigastric artery and vein. These vessels are then connected to the internal mammary vessels with microsurgical anastomosis.
The photograph demonstrates before and after breast reconstruction with a deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap or DIEP flap. The abdominal contour improves significantly after breast reconstruction.