DIEP flap

Hi all, I am almost 3 years post mastectomy (immediate reconstruction with implant), and I am nor considering DIEP flap, as I am not happy with the way I look. Can anyone share experiences? I know its a big op, so I am wondering if the pain and recover are worth it in the end for the results xx Lots of love to all you beautiful ladies (and men) xx 

Hi u2girlie,


i’m having a mastectomy and Diep flap reconstruction, alongside a restructure of my good breast at the same time next Friday. I’ll definitely keep you updated as to how things go and have the same question as you in my mind too, to be honest.



Hello, I had my Diep flap mastectomy and immediate reconstruction 2 weeks ago today and, while it was quite an ordeal, am happy with the way it went. The surgery is undoubtedly harder to recover from than implant reconstruction - I was in hospital for six days and for the first two I felt like I had been hit by a truck. But the recovery is really remarkable. I feel better every day, am able to walk up to a mile a day now and managing very basic tasks. One of the hardest things to get to grips with weirdly has been getting used to my belly button being in a different place (it’s higher and a little off centre now!) but I’m told that can be corrected if I can bear another surgery.  The shape of the new breast (while still pretty swollen) is a good match and I’m confident enough already to wear tops that show my shape.

I wish you well with the decision and am happy to answer any questions about the procedure.  It’s early days for me but no regrets so far. Xxx

I hope this helps someone in some way, I made a video of my DIEP journey, pictures from before and after…best thing I ever did, although yes it was a long recovery. I was back at work at 3 weeks post op…all the best xxxx


Hi there,

I had a diep reconstruction six weeks ago. My left mastectomy was in October 2018.

It is very painful for the first couple of days. I was in hospital for four days. When I got home, being able to sleep in my own bed, without the continual observations ( every fifteen minutes on the first night!), I felt so much better!

I walked every day and was really pleased with how quickly I recovered. I was back at work after four weeks.

I am really pleased already. It is SO nice to have a cleavage again. I feel so much happier with my body. It is not completely symmetrical yet, but  I will be having symmetry surgery after six months, when my right breast will be given an uplift, and the surgeon left a little excess skin on my abdominal scar to fashion a nipple for my left breast. When I wear a bra, I look symmetrical. The breast feels like part of me, not a foreign body. 

I have to say, despite the initial pain, I am thrilled that I went ahead with it, and I wish you lots of luck.

Best wishes

Jane xx

I had surgery in January and i’ve been lucky as it all went smoothly for me. 

I chose it mostly because it meant I wouldn’t have to have any more surgeries later to replace failing implants. So it’s done and I’m really pleased with it

I have a massive scar across my lower tummy from the side of one hip to the other. I really do think I’m lucky as I understand for a lot of women the scar can end up with some sort of puckering as the skin is brought together. One nurse told me some women end up with dog flaps at the hips where the scar ends and the skin doesn’t quite come together evenly. My scar is completely straight and very neat. Lucky to get such a fantastic plastic surgeon. They also gave me a new tummy button which looks fairly good I’d say.

i was also fairly fit before hand. I ran 2 or 3 times a week but I had to stop a month before surgery due to other surgeries and treatment. But I did walk for 30 mins a day instead and a lot of people told me my fitness helped my quick recovery. 

Also I wasn’t massively overweight. I am pear shaped so have good child bearing hips and thighs but they told me to put on weight to get more tummy fat. I couldn’t quite believe it as I thought I was about a stone heavier than I should be. Anyway apparently they normally take the fat from one side of the tummy only to reconstruct the breast but they needed to use both sides for me and as a result the surgery was longer than expected. I went into surgery about 8 and came out at about 8. I think we should allow for an hour of faffing in pre-op etc / anaesthetics etc so I was probably under the knife for about 11 hours. It was a long time and they warned me I’d feel like I’d been hit by a train but I don’t really remember. They gave me morphine for the first day and then you are on normal painkillers. It’s bearable but the worst bit is their insistence on getting you out of bed and walking by day 2.  I really didn’t think I would be able to and it is hard but I could manage it. Like I said it’s bearable. 

It all seems a long time ago now but I’m not back to normal yet but I am running again and that helps. You really do need to do all the physio exercises as the tummy is so stretched. I got so bored of them I took up yoga everyday after a bit instead. I still feel it in my tummy now if I miss a day as my tummy just feels so tight. 

After surgery I still felt mutilated. I hated to look at my body. I was impatient and fed up and now I still hate bits of it but if I’m honest I have a really good result. It’s just that any surgery like this is a massive change. It’s not like your body any more. I think the big thing for me is no nipple. It just looks so wrong. And a massive scar across my tummy but that is getting a lot better now. 

Be prepared to wear big knickers (control pants) 24/7 for months. 

I was really lucky to attend a show and tell evening at the Royal Free in London so I could talk to other women who’d had all sorts of different surgeries and that was really helpful. Can you ask if you can talk to other women who have had it done. At least virtually. 

I really do wish you well and whatever you decide to do you feel happy with it. It’s so hard to make a decision. That was the worst bit for me as I had different surgeons telling what would be best. Wishing you all the best. Sally

Hi just wondering if you’ve had the diep and if so how did it go?

Thank you M x