Anyone had a Diep flap reconstruction?


I am coming to the end of my chemo (today ) and am not yet sure what surgery I will be having. If I need a mastectomy I’ve been told I’m not a ‘good candidate’ for an implant as I’m a DD cup and so would be offered a Diep flap reconstruction. I’ve seen some terrific results but would really like to hear from anyone who has had this procedure. I know the operation and recovery are a lot, but are you pleased you had it? Any advice? 

Thanks, Louise 

Hello Louise,

I had Diep Flap surgery after a double mastectomy back in 2016 and am so glad I put myself through it and still very pleased with the results. It is a long operation (mine longer as both were getting done) and you will have to spend at least 5 days in hospital depending on your recovery and fitness. The first 24 hours post surgery quite bad but quickly gets easier. Best advise, get yourself fit for surgery, eat healthy, stop drinking (and definitely stop smoking), and give your body everything it needs to recover quickly. Your surgeon guides you through all the decisions and based on amount of flap available from your abdomen, will be the basis on how large, or small you want your new breasts to be. If you are only having one done, they will match the size to your existing breast. Have to be realistic about what can be achieved. Only after your new breasts have settled down, healed etc, can you get nipple reconstruction (I had that done as well and is the icing on the cake so to speak). Tattoo artists can also do wonders if you have had enough surgery by then.

You will have scars, quite a lot but they minimise with time but will always be there. Recovery takes time and if you are into fitness like me, will have to ease up a lot to let your body heal.

Hope this helps. Any more questions, I will be happy to answer.


Hi Louise

i came home yesterday after immediate DIEP reconstruction, I can’t believe the results are amazing. 

This time last week I went in with 2 full and large size breasts (HH) and today I have 2 full and large size breasts, (potentially a F), made from my own tissue and considerably more perky than this time last week. 

My tummy is flat and most of all I feel like me. 

I am a bit of a patchwork quilt at the moment out of clothes, but even in underwear the scars aren’t visible. For me, it’s a gift cancer couldn’t take from me. My tummy has kept my identity as a woman.

i May be in a honeymoon period, but today I thoroughly recommend it.

Happy to answer questions and hope it helps xx

Thank you all for your DIEP posts, I’m finding this thread so helpful! I met my consultant yesterday and I’m being referred to Whiston hospital for consideration of a DIEP. Likely to need a reduction on my other breast too, and wondering if best to get it all done in one massive day of surgery? 

It sounds like there’s a tough road ahead, but are you all glad to have chosen this surgery? My children are 9 and 11 so going to follow all your tips for pre DIEP preparation. Our house is pretty chaotic at the moment so there are going to have to be lots of lists!

What are the random things you’ve found really helpful during your recovery? Am thinking pillows, front fastening bras, well stocked freezers?

Thanks everyone! Xx