Bucks County Herald

St. Luke’s offers DIEP breast reconstruction after mastectomy

St. Luke’s Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery now employs two fellowship-trained physicians who perform DIEP (deep inferior epigastric artery perforator) breast reconstruction.

An advanced microsurgical technique, DIEP breast reconstruction rebuilds the breast lost to mastectomy by using tissue taken from another part of the patient’s body, usually the abdomen.

Among its advantages, DIEP doesn’t require maintenance or repeat surgery, which often occurs with breast implants over time. Rather, when performing the DIEP procedure, plastic surgeons rebuild the breast with soft, warm, living fat, as well as skin and vessels, obtained from the patient’s own abdomen. To ensure that the tissue will survive in its new location, our fellowship-trained surgeons use microsurgery to reattach the blood vessels in the tissue to blood vessels in the chest. The patient’s tissue is carefully reshaped into a breast mound and sutured into place. Unlike other breast reconstruction procedures that use the patient’s tissue, with DIEP no muscle is moved or repositioned.

To perform the DIEP procedure, surgeons must have special training as well as expertise in microsurgery. St. Luke’s Plastic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery physicians Dr. Lino Miele, who joined the practice in 2015, and Dr. Juan Carlos Martinez, who joined in September, are both trained in plastic and reconstructive surgery and are experienced in the DIEP procedure. Martinez received an additional year of training in microsurgery.

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