DIEP Flap or Implants...How to choose?

Hello Ladies,


I was looking to learn from your experiences on the reconstruction choices you have made.


I have just finished my chemotherapy and will now be having my surgery. As a BRCA1 gene carrier. I have opted for a double mx with immediate reconstruction. However I’m still undecided on which route to take.


my main concerns with DIEP are the long recovery time and the scar which will be hip bone to hip bone. Also what is the cosmetic result like? With implants, the higher risk of infection is a concern. Also the fact they would need to be replaced further down the line.


I’m 31 and yet to have any children, I’m also a C cup. Thank you for reading.



I had left breast mastectomy with immediate reconstruction with silicone implant (and a mesh of some sort - can’t remember what I’m in a chemo haze right now!) The reason was because I’m only an A cup and didn’t carry enough weight for anything else really. I could have had part silicone and some tissue from my back, but I decided that if I was going to have to go down the silicone route, then it may as well be all that rather than another scar. It has healed really well, but I do have seroma build up which is annoying and uncomfortable. But I think that could happen after any breast surgery anyway. My consultant was confident that my implant would last and we’re both happy with the result. :slight_smile:
I’m not sure if this is of any help at all, but good luck with the route you choose xxx

Well, undressed my new boob is a lot fuller, but wearing a bra and under a T-shirt say, I think that I will look completely normal, which is fine as far as I’m concerned (I’m 52 and learned to accept my lack of chest over the years!) I was shown a lot of photos beforehand by the consultant plastic surgeon doing the operation and what I have ended up with is how I thought from the photos. Having one silicone and one natural boob, I’m never going to be symmetrical and they’re not going to feel the same but honestly that doesn’t bother me. But take that into account and ask lots of questions - you’re younger than I am, and a different size naturally.
I was in hospital 4 days with 3 drains and went home with one which I had for a further 2 weeks. Despite the seroma buildup, I healed well, dressings off completely after 2 weeks.
The seroma build up is an issue for me, I’m impatient for it to go away but I guess my body is fighting the effects of chemo to be bothered with it right now! But not everyone has this problem, and I think it could happen to anyone after breast surgery anyway. Another thing to ask!
I started a ‘seroma build up’ thread on here under ‘surgery’ which might help - there has been a couple of different experiences with the replies.
Hope this helps :slight_smile: xxx

When I had my bilateral implant reconstruction my surgeon told me that my implants had a life time guarantee and they don’t usually need to be replaced unless you have a complication. I was in hospital for 1 night and came home with 2 drains but they were both removed after 3 days. Others have different experience with the drains and have them for a lot longer than I did. I think I was lucky. 


I choose implant reconstruction over the other options for a couple of reasons; 1. I didn’t have enough tissue for flap reconstruction, although I was offered the option of flap plus implant. 2. recovery time was quicker, only one site needed to heal as oppose to back and breast or stomach and breast. And finally 3. If the implant reconstruction failed then I could move forward to plan B, which is flap surgery. 


I’m 3 months post op and my foobs are looking incredible (if I say so myself). They are becoming softer and even have a little jiggle in them, they are like rocks when you first feel them…the pectoral muscles really hold on to the implants tightly to start off with. My foobs do look natural, if a tad perky, with the exception of the crease scarring. 


Hi Nazeing I’m also a c cup. I went for the immediate implant. It’s not perfect but looks great in underwear. I’ve been out with cleavage showing and looks great. I’m having an uplift on good boob shortly to match them up along with new nipple. I’m 44 as of yesterday x

Hi Naz my experience was similar to Cate’s. Bilateral with implants. I chose silicone and saline mix so they wouldn’t have to be exchanged and saline could be injected through a port if I wanted them bigger. That was five months ago and I was back to all normal exercise after three months. It takes that long for the pectoral muscle to stretch and the foods to soften and look more natural. Nipples added in April then I’m done. Good luck whatever you choose.