Frequently Asked Questions About DIEP Flap Recovery

Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons Serving Denver, Lone Tree, Colorado & Nationwide

Posted: October 8, 2020

We Care DIEPly at The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic SurgreyWe understand that getting ready for breast reconstruction can be overwhelming. Whether you already have a date for your procedure or you are just beginning to weigh your surgical options, you want to know what to expect.

The recovery process, in particular, can be a source of some uncertainty. To help you feel more informed, here are answers to common questions about recovering from DIEP Flap autologous reconstruction.

How long will I have to stay in the hospital after DIEP Flap surgery?

Ninety-five percent of our DIEP Flap patients are discharged from the hospital two days after their procedure. The average hospital stay for DIEP Flap patients at other facilities is four or five days. Our patients appreciate the steps that we take to shorten their time in the hospital while maintaining high standards of comfort and safety.

When can I sleep on my side after DIEP Flap?

DIEP Flap breast reconstruction patients need to sleep on their backs for the first two weeks after surgery. Side sleeping is allowed after two weeks and stomach sleeping after four weeks. The reason being is that these positions put pressure on the healing breast tissue and incisions.

How long does it take for swelling to go down after DIEP Flap surgery?

You can expect to have moderate swelling in the reconstructed breast, underarm, and abdomen for several months. It is also common to experience numbness in the reconstructed breast and abdomen for up to a year.

In addition, abdominal tightness can be present for the first three months. Wearing your abdominal binder will help support proper healing at this donor site.

We’re Here To Answer Your Questions

At The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery, our board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeons prioritize patient education. We want you to have all the information you need to feel confident during this process.  

A consultation is a great opportunity to get answers to your questions. Call 303-706-1100 today to schedule a visit to our office. We serve patients from Denver and Lone Tree, Colorado, as well as across the nation.