To have or not to have a DIEP reconstruction

At my annual check up the Dr suggested I go for reconstruction and gave me a booklet to read about it.  I have got another appointment later this month to discuss it further. Having read the booklet I feel that the DIEP recon sounds the best but I would be grateful if anyone who’s had this done could let me know their experiences of it whether they be positive or negative and is the end result worth it?



Hi Elsa, its great to hear your well through you treatment. Have you had a consultation with the plastic surgeon? They will look at you objectively and advise you where you have enough skin etc to make the best reconstruction. I haven’t had a DIEP as there wasn’t enough flesh, if I’d have known I’d have eaten more! I have known others who have had this and they are all happy with the results, looks and feels natural, they have lost some tummy muscle strength, but the tummy tuck aspect was a real bonus. If you are happy the way you are, don’t feel you have to have reconstruction and don’t feel as though you have to decide right there and then.

Hi Elsa, i had double mastectomy and immediate diep reconstruction in Jan 2012 and the jury is still out on whether i did the right thing. My op, which should have ben 91/2 hours took 121/2 (dont know why) and the recovery wasnt pleasant. I spent a week in hospital but was still bent double for quite a while after that.You need a lot of help and support. The scar across your stomach goes from hip to hip but it does fade in time.i used bio oil.I do have a ridge though so the tummy tuck hasnt resulted in completely flat stomach, but dont see it as a negative. i still have a lot of pain on the ‘cancer’ side (i opted to have bi lateral mastectomy to stop spread but unfortunately it came back anyway) and this side is bigger than the other but again no major issue.

I did have a fat transfer on the other side to even it out a bit and also had nipple reconstruction (dont expect a proper ‘sticky out’ result) and tattooing.

This has come across as really negative but didnt mean it to. I was very glad i had the immediate reconstruction rather than cope with a completely flat chest and two scars, although i know many people are completely happy with this.

My surgeons and the breast care nurses all say what a fantastic result i’ve got which is good because they see lots, whereas we dont.

The only thing i do sometimes think about is whether i would have had so much pain and discomfort if i’d have had implants but on the whole i think they have their own issues and i am happier knowing its my own tissue in my body. At the end of the day the decision has to be yours …its not an easy one but armed with different opinions i’m sure you’ll make the right decision. The surgeons really are fantastic in what they do and i think we are lucky to be given the benefit of their skills, whichever method you choose. Good luck.x



I had a mastectomy with immediate DIEP reconstruction in August last year. I was in a right state about it and wasn’t sure whether to or not but I’m very glad I did. I won’t lie, the surgery is major, particularly if you’ve lost weight on chemo etc, but it means your clevage looks completely normal, and the new boob, whilst slightly smaller than my non cancer one, isn’t too different and because it is natural it will adjust if I gain or loose weight. My only issue really is that it has been swollen since radiotherapy which is annoying. 
I have to go back to have a nipple done, but I just chickened out and delayed it for six months as I am only just getting some energy and health back after cancer treatment all last year. 

Hope this helps