DIEP flap reconstruction​

After a mastectomy, your surgeon may be able to use body tissue taken from elsewhere on your body to reconstruct the shape of your breast. One such procedure is deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap reconstruction, so-called because it uses a 'flap' of muscle, usually taken from your belly.  

Who is suitable for DIEP flap reconstruction​?

If you have had one or both breasts removed, your breast consultant may suggest surgery to reconstruct the shape of your breast. DIEP flap reconstruction might suit you if: 

  • you have had a  mastectomy 
  • you do not want a silicone implant. 

Reconstructing the shape of your breast can help to reduce the psychological impact of surgery. 

What does DIEP flap reconstruction​ involve? ​

DIEP flap reconstruction is an advanced surgical procedure. It usually takes about six to eight hours. A specialist plastic surgeon takes a section of tissue from one area of your body — usually the area around your tummy — and relocates it to your chest to shape a new breast. It can be done at the same time as your mastectomy or as a separate procedure at a later date. The advantage of the DIEP procedure is that the surgeon only removes skin and fat, leaving your abdominal muscle tissue in place.  

What can you do to prepare for DIEP flap reconstruction​?

Ahead of your operation, it helps to be as fit and healthy as possible. This will help you cope with the operation and recover strength afterwards.  

What is the recovery period?

During this procedure, you will have had surgery at two sites on your body – your chest and your belly. This means that your recovery time will be longer than someone who has had a mastectomy alone. You will need to be cared for in hospital for up to seven nights. When you are ready to return home, your breast consultant or specialist nurse will let you know how to manage your recovery. Typically, it takes about six to eight weeks before you can return to your normal activities, including work.   

Self-pay package

As well as working with all major insurance companies, we also welcome patients who wish to pay for themselves.

Below is an outline of our self-pay hospital package which includes tests, hospital stay and procedure. Please note: it does not include consultant fees, which may vary.   

Hospital package from £31,360 (unilateral) and £34,790 (bilateral).

Indicative consultant fees from £2,800.

When enquiring about this package, please quote B2986.

  • Standard pre-admission tests, including electrocardiogram (ECG) and chest X-ray 
  • Accommodation in a private en-suite room for up to seven nights  
  • All meals  
  • Nursing 
  • Ward medications and dressings 
  • Theatre procedure and anaesthetics 
  • Inpatient physiotherapy, if needed, and surgical stockings 
  • Post-op and discharge medication 
  • Consultant consultation fee  
  • Consultant procedure fee  
  • Anesthetist fee 
  • Non-standard diagnostic and histology tests 
  • Any additional costs not specified in the package inclusions  

Our consultants

See a list of all the consultants available at Cromwell Hospital.

Why choose Cromwell Hospital?

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Please note - regrettably we are unable to answer specific medical questions or offer medical advice via email or telephone.