The deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap is an option for breast reconstruction in those patients who do not want to undergo reconstruction with breast implants. There are several reasons why patients do not want to undergo reconstruction with breast implants and would prefer to undergo reconstruction with their own body tissue.
Reconstruction of the breast with one’s own body tissue is called autologous reconstruction. There are several donor sites available for breast reconstruction with one’s own body tissue. The abdomen, back, and gluteal region are the most common sites available for breast reconstruction.
When the lower abdomen is used the flap is termed a deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap. In this flap, the lower abdominal skin and fat is used and the muscle of the abdominal wall remains on the abdominal wall to preserve functionality.
The deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap can be performed at the same time as the mastectomy or can be performed later. When the flap is performed later it is called a delayed reconstruction. There are several reasons to stage the reconstruction.
If the reconstruction is staged, it gives the surgeon and the patient the opportunity to lift and reduce the non-affected side to create a goal to shoot for.