Top DIEP Breast Reconstruction Surgeons in USA
Breast reconstruction, particularly the DIEP procedure, is a journey that some women embark upon, often following mastectomy due to breast cancer. This procedure aims to restore the physical appearance and this could also aids in the emotional healing process. Given the intricate nature of the surgery, the choice of plastic surgeon plays a pivotal role in the outcome. In this blog, we’ll discuss the nuances of the DIEP breast reconstruction method and highlight some of the world’s leading surgeons in this field.
What Is DIEP Breast Reconstruction?
The Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP) flap is a type of breast reconstruction that utilises the patient’s own abdominal skin and fat to recreate a natural-looking breast without the need for implants. Here’s a closer look at this procedure:
- The DIEP procedure involves transferring skin, fat, and blood vessels from the lower abdomen to the chest to form a new breast mound. Unlike the traditional TRAM flap procedure, DIEP spares the abdominal muscles, leading to a quicker recovery and reduced post-operative pain.
- While there are several methods of breast reconstruction available, the DIEP flap stands out due to its muscle-sparing technique. This means patients retain full abdominal strength post-surgery, reducing the risk of hernias and other complications.
Benefits of the DIEP Procedure
- Natural Appearance: As the reconstructed breast is made from the patient’s own tissue, it feels and moves more naturally than implant-based reconstructions.
- Durability: The results are long-lasting, with the reconstructed breast changing naturally with weight fluctuations and ageing.
- Reduced Complications: With no foreign materials like implants used, there’s a decreased risk of complications such as implant rupture or capsular contracture.
Questions to Ask the Potential DIEP Breast Reconstruction Surgeon
Choosing the right surgeon for your DIEP breast reconstruction is important. It’s not just about their qualifications and experience, but also about how comfortable you feel with them. Here are some essential questions to pose during your consultation:
How many DIEP procedures have you performed?
- Experience is crucial. A plastic surgeon who has carried out numerous DIEP procedures is likely more adept at handling various scenarios and complications.
Can I see before-and-after photos of your previous patients?
- Visual evidence of a surgeon’s work can give you an idea of the results you might expect.
What are the potential risks and complications?
- Every surgery comes with risks. It’s vital to understand these risks and how often they occur under the plastic surgeon’s care.
Where will the surgery be performed?
- Knowing the facility and ensuring it’s accredited can provide peace of mind.
What is the expected recovery time, and what post-operative care do you provide?
- Recovery can vary based on the individual and the plastic surgeon’s technique. It’s essential to know what to expect and the support you’ll receive during this period.
How do you handle complications or unsatisfactory results?
- While everyone hopes for the best outcome, it’s wise to understand the plastic surgeon’s approach to any challenges that might arise.
What are the total costs involved, including any potential additional fees?
- Understanding the financial aspect is crucial to avoid any unexpected surprises.
Best DIEP Breast Reconstruction Surgeons in the World
Dr Edward W. Buchel (whom Dr Bish Soliman did his Breast Microsurgical Fellowship)
- Dr Edward Buchel is the esteemed Head of the Section of Plastic Surgery at the University of Manitoba and WRHA.
- He operates out of the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, where he is deeply involved in the Department of Surgery.
- Dr Buchel’s affiliation with the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research in the United States has seen him in roles such as Consultant and Fellowship director.
- He holds impressive qualifications, including a BSc, Bsc.med, MD, and is a distinguished Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS).
Breast Reconstruction Expertise:
- Dr Buchel has made significant contributions to the field of breast reconstruction, with numerous publications and researches under his belt.
- His research topics encompass wound healing, breast reconstruction techniques, and innovations, ensuring patients receive the best possible care.
- Notably, he has authored papers such as “Canadian Expert Opinion on Breast Reconstruction Access: Strategies to Optimize Care during COVID-19” and “Intraoperative Autoderm Decontamination for Use in Immediate Single-stage Direct-to-implant Breast Reconstruction”, showcasing his dedication and expertise in the domain of breast reconstruction.
Research and Contributions:
- With a commendable 1,633 citations by other researchers, Dr Buchel’s work is widely recognised and respected.
- He has been instrumental in the authorship of 90 publications, reflecting his dedication to advancing the field of plastic surgery.
Dr Robert J. Allen
- Dr Robert J. Allen is a pioneering plastic surgeon known for creating many of the innovative techniques used today in reconstructive procedures
- He has dedicated his career to enhancing the lives of breast cancer survivors through innovative strategies that improve both the function and aesthetic value of the breasts
- Dr Allen is recognised as the pioneer of the muscle-sparing DIEP/SIEA/S-GAP/I-GAP perforator flaps. He is also a founder of The Centre for Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction and the Group for the Advancement of Breast Reconstruction
- He operates out of Beverly Hills and has been well known for his contributions to the field of breast reconstruction, particularly in the development of muscle-sparing perforator flaps
- Dr Allen has a particular interest in autogenous breast reconstruction and microsurgery
Dr Joshua Levine
Dr Joshua L. Levine is a specialist in DIEP breast reconstruction. Here are some key points about him:
- Dr Joshua L. Levine is a world-renowned microsurgeon in natural tissue perforator flap breast reconstruction. He operates out of top cutting-edge and award-winning hospital facilities in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut
- He is the Director of the Centre for Breast Reconstruction. Dr Levine continually redefines the art and science of natural tissue breast reconstruction, allowing women to restore the look and feel of their natural breasts without muscle sacrifice and implants
- Dr Levine has over 17 years of experience in perforator flap natural tissue breast reconstruction and has successfully performed over 1000 procedures. He has dedicated his practice exclusively to the highly sophisticated and advanced forms of microsurgical breast reconstruction known as perforator flaps
- He is recognised for being one of the top DIEP flap natural tissue breast reconstruction surgeons in the world. Additionally, Dr Levine has developed pioneering techniques in extension flap and stacked flap procedures, ensuring that all women are candidates regardless of their body type
Dr Babak Mehrara
- Dr Mehrara is the Chief of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre and holds the Peter G. Cordeiro Endowed Chair in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- He is a dedicated plastic surgeon specialising in reconstructive surgery for cancer patients
- Dr Mehrara has specialised training in microsurgery, a procedure that involves transplanting tissues by reconnecting small blood vessels using a microscope. He has extensive experience with perforator flaps, including the deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap and gluteal artery perforator (GAP) flap surgery for breast reconstruction
- He has lectured both nationally and internationally on breast reconstruction and has published extensively on the topic
- Dr Mehrara is at the forefront of advancements in microsurgical techniques. He emphasises the benefits of perforator flaps, which cause less trauma to the donor site
- He also has a significant interest in treating lymphoedema, a condition where there’s a build up of lymph fluid or fatty tissues under the skin causing swelling. Lymphoedema is his primary research interest, and he has developed several models to study it in the laboratory. His research aims to understand its development and design novel methods for prevention and treatment
- Dr Mehrara has received multiple awards and honours, including being listed as a Top Doctor in the New York Metro Area by Castle Connolly
Dr Nicholas Haddock
- Dr Haddock is an Associate Professor at UT Southwestern Medical Centre, specialising in the Department of Plastic Surgery.
- He is well-versed in all facets of cosmetic and plastic surgery, with a particular expertise in breast reconstruction following cancer.
- Annually, Dr Haddock conducts a significant number of breast reconstruction surgeries and is regarded as an expert in his field.
- He trained under Dr Bob Allen, the pioneer of the DIEP flap and PAP flap, both of which involve using blood vessels and a section of skin and fat from other parts of the body for breast reconstruction.
- Dr Haddock offers a range of breast surgery options, including the DIEP flap, which uses tissue from the patient’s stomach. For those who are not suitable candidates for the DIEP flap, he provides alternative solutions such as the PAP flap and the lumbar artery perforator (LAP) flap.
- He is committed to delivering tailored results that complement the patient’s physique and lifestyle, ensuring that each procedure is meticulously tailored to the individual’s needs.
- Dr Haddock is part of a holistic approach to care at UT Southwestern, where patients benefit from the collaboration of departments and state-of-the-art resources.
Dr Venkat Ramakrishnan
- Dr Venkat Ramakrishnan is an internationally acclaimed plastic and cosmetic surgeon with over 40 years of distinguished experience.
- He qualified in medicine in 1983 and underwent extensive training in plastic surgery in Australia. Since 1987, he has been practising cosmetic plastic surgery.
- Dr Ramakrishnan is renowned for his expertise in reconstructive breast surgery, cosmetic breast surgery, cosmetic facial surgery, lipo-sculpturing, and body lifts.
- He has a particular interest in reconstructive and aesthetic surgery of the breast, having performed numerous microsurgical breast reconstructions using the DIEP Flap and the TUG Flap.
- In his NHS role, he serves as a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at a leading hospital in Essex, UK, where a significant part of his work revolves around breast reconstruction.
- He holds the position of Chairman of the Microsurgery Sub-committee of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons and is a visiting Professor at a renowned university in England.
- Dr Ramakrishnan has contributed over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has presented at numerous international meetings.
- He has been recognised for his contributions to the field, having been voted as one of the top ten surgeons in Plastic Surgery by his peers.
- His educational background includes an MS in General Surgery from Madras Medical School (1986), FRACS in Plastic Surgery from Melbourne, Australia (1990), and FRCS from London (1998).
- In addition to his clinical commitments, Dr Ramakrishnan has held various esteemed positions, including Director for the Pan Thames Educational Programme, Service Director in the UK, and visiting professor roles at international institutions.
Further Reading about Breast Reconstruction Surgery with Dr Bish Soliman
- Read Dr Bish’s DIEP Breast Reconstruction Surgery Page
- Read Dr Bish’s Blog about Recovery after Breast Reconstruction Surgery (DIEP)
- Read Dr Bish’s Blog about How Effective Are Silicone Strips for Plastic Surgery Scars
- Read Dr Bish’s Blog about DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction: What to Expect
- Read Dr Bish’s Blog about Options for Breast Reconstruction – Immediate or Delayed Breast Reconstruction
- Read Dr Bish’s Blog about Why He Prefers DIEP Breast Reconstruction
- Read Dr Bish’s Blog about Arm Exercises Post DIEP Flap Surgery