At The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery, we are proud to offer several types of breast reconstruction. Our ultimate goals are to help women restore their sense of self, well-being, sensuality and femininity during this difficult time while helping to maximize the aesthetic outcome as well.
Unique to the Rocky Mountain Region, Dr. Jeremy Williams and Dr. Christopher Williams offer the latest, state-of-the-art techniques in breast reconstruction, including Autologous Tissue Breast Reconstruction. Autologous Tissue is tissue used from a patient’s own body — most commonly fat, skin, and sometimes muscle. The tissue is taken in the form of a flap — a flap being that skin, fat, and muscle taken from one area of the body and relocated to another location on the body, carrying its own blood supply. There are two forms of flaps used today in breast reconstruction — Pedicled and Free Flaps.
A Pedicled Flap is a flap that has been rotated or moved from its original location to reconstruct a defect nearby, without losing that blood supply. These flaps were developed about 30 years ago and are still viable choices in breast reconstruction. A Free Flap is a flap whose blood supply is cut to move the tissue a longer distance for relocation. The blood supply (artery and vein) must be reconnected, using a microscope, once the flap is placed in its new location. Free flaps are newer techniques, developed about 20 years ago, and since have become frequently used in breast reconstruction.
Experienced in Advanced Flap Reconstruction Techniques
Dr. Jeremy Williams and Dr. Christopher Williams use microsurgical techniques to move free flaps and reconnect the blood supply. They were two of the first surgeons to offer the DIEP Flap in the Rocky Mountain region and are recognized as pioneers and leaders in the state of Colorado in the area of perforator (muscle sparing) breast reconstruction.
They use a surgical microscope to help them reconnect the veins and arteries from the flap of the body with the relocated tissue on the chest. Without this connected blood supply, the tissue would not survive. Perforator-Based Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction is the most current and state-of-the-art technique in breast reconstruction. This procedure is slightly longer than other flap methods of reconstruction because the blood vessels must be dissected from the muscle — it takes a high degree of skill to complete this, and there are only approximately 60 surgeons (less than 5% of all Plastic Surgeons) in the United States who perform this surgery.
It uses both muscle-sparing and nerve-sparing techniques in an effort to limit the damage to donor sites. At these donor sites, only the artery and veins (these are the blood vessels which “perforate” the muscles) are harvested. The muscles and nerves are left intact — this takes additional time and effort during surgery, but the surgeons at The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery feel it is necessary to limit the damage to donor sites in breast reconstruction if possible.
Why We Prefer the DIEP Flap
The DIEP Flap (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) is the preferred method for Autologous Breast Reconstruction performed by Dr. Jeremy Williams and Dr. Christopher Williams at The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery. The DIEP flap is the preferred choice largely because it is taken from a woman’s lower abdomen in a similar manner to a “tummy tuck”.
The excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen is removed and used to reconstruct the new breast. Unlike other techniques that remove muscle with the skin and fat, the DIEP flap preserves a woman’s abdominal musculature. In addition to preserving the muscle, our surgeons strive to preserve the nerves to the muscle (nerve sparing DIEP flap). You can view photos of patients who have elected to have the DIEP Flap in our Before & After Gallery.
If you wish to diminish the appearance of DIEP flap scars, then embrace® scar therapy may be right for you. These adhesive sheets are worn over your scars, where they stabilize the skin and prevent tension. Skin that is being pulled and made taut is what forms the scar in the first place. These silicone sheets also hydrate and rejuvenate the skin in the scar area.
Candidacy for DIEP Flap Reconstruction
There are several factors which help qualify a woman to undergo the DIEP Flap method of breast reconstruction. Your surgeon will help go through the different options for you during your consultation at The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery and ultimately determine if you are a candidate for the DIEP Flap.
Women who are the best candidates for the DIEP Flap are women who desire to have reconstruction and have extra tissue, skin, and fat in their lower abdomen for use as a donor site and desire a better abdominal contour, similar to that of a tummy tuck. These women understand the risks associated with all flap techniques and have determined that the DIEP Flap offers a lower risk of abdominal weakness or bulging, but that this “investment” will likely produce a more natural, longer-lasting result than other methods of reconstruction, including implant-based reconstruction. These women usually have few serious medical problems and have enough emotional strength and support to be able to cope with the possible loss of a flap (less than 3% risk of flap loss).
We have several women who have volunteered to be contacted by other patients to discuss any questions or concerns candidates may have — those lists are available at our office. These women have finished reconstruction and can offer personal insight, suggestions, and helpful tips to women starting the reconstruction process.
Contact our Denver Breast Reconstruction Surgeons
To schedule a consultation to learn more about the DIEP Flap, please call 720-457-4461 or schedule an appointment online.