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Topic: Questions to ask your surgeon before diep

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Is it right for you? Discuss timing and various procedures and techniques.

Posted on: Jul 8, 2019 12:52PM

Accarpenter wrote:

I am new to this forum. I am 43 and have 2 surgical consults next week about having a prophylactic bmx and diep reconstruction. I just discovered diep as an alternative a few weeks ago so at this point I do not know what I don’t know.

I will be going to UAB and Vanderbilt for consults. What are some of the questions that everyone wishes they had asked before their surgery? What questions would you ask to determine which surgeon is the better option

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Jul 8, 2019 07:56PM Yuuki wrote:

So glad you are being proactive about your health! I have recently completed Stage II of DIEP, and I would break down the things that were important to me into three categories:

Experience/results: how many of these procedures has your surgeon done, and how frequently? Can you look at before and after pictures of patients with your body type? What type of result does your surgeon expect you to have based on experience, and what needs to be done to your body - and where - to get there? Can you talk to other patients about their experiences?

Complications: what can go wrong, and how does your surgeon deal with it? How frequently does it happen in your surgeon's practice? What happens if you get home (if you're traveling) and something goes wrong?

Follow-up: Where will pathology be done, what type of pathology will be done, and how will it be reported to you? What kind of support will you need at home? What follow-up procedures will need to be done? How will you monitor the reconstructed breasts for malignancy?

To these I would also add that anyone who performs surgery on you should be able to answer your questions patiently and completely, so that you are entirely comfortable moving forward. The surgeon should understand your goals and be committed to getting you there. This is a very individual thing - definitely not one-size-fits-all. Try to do as much homework before the appointment as possible (as you already are!) and don't be afraid to take the time you need.

All the best to you,


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Jul 11, 2019 02:38PM Mantra wrote:

I spoke to my PS about this procedure today. My allergen ruptured and both need to be removed. Two options were discussed. Implant replacement and diep. One thing she said that is scary to me is that 20% of patients end up with residual pain either in the stomach or back area with diep flap surgery.Some have severe and some mild. They take the fat from the stomach and need to cut into the muscle to take the blood vessels to put them in the chest. Anyone else heard about permanent pain from this procedure

Dx 7/10/2009, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-

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