DIEP Flap Turned out Amazing - Los Angeles, CA

I am 27 years old, diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast...

I am 27 years old, diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer 2 months ago, had a double mastectomy and reconstuction via the DIEP flap procedure a month ago. I decided to go double for my own mental self. I was a good candidate for the DIEP Flap procedure and it was truly suggested as I am a horseback rider and dirt biker, so implants and the risk of damage to them with my extreme sports just made the best sense.

My breasts look absolutely amazing, they honestly look like my own except for the patch of new skin as the areola and no nipples for now, but they feel and look amazing.

Here is one suggestion: if you are a smoker, please talk to your surgeon and be truthful, find out what your possible complications are. I was a smoker right up until surgery (quit at that time), and I did have a "routine complication" of a splitting incision on the tummy tuck incision. It pushed recovery a few weeks, but I have done everything my doctor told me to do, and I am recovering well now, hopefully only a few weeks left until I am "normal."

Especially if you are young, and want to do both breasts, please consider this procedure, it really makes me feel like myself. FYI, don't know cost yet because I haven't been fully billed after insurance.

Just wanted to do a quick update. Little over 2...

Just wanted to do a quick update. Little over 2 months now from when I had surgery, and I am totally healed and look/feel AMAZING!! Thank you Dr Leif Rogers and Dr. Max Leifeldt for everything!
I'm five weeks out of my bilateral DIEP reconstruction. Before surgery, my plastic surgeon told me to forget about riding for four monthsa after surgery, when i seemed to be healing like a rockstar, I bargained him down to 10 weeks. I've just had a small setback with a chest abscess (had a quick incision and drainage surgery on Friday) that I have to manage little carefully. Even so, I don't think it will put me far off my 10 week return to riding. I'm in (or was, before my Ca dx) the process of shopping for a horse so am a little less enthusiastic about getting on unknown horses right off this surgery. I'll ride a friend's horse to get my "sea legs" back. I am chomping at the bit to get back to it!

Congrats on finishing your chemo, eventing vet! You eventers are built of crazy strong stuff---I expect that, barring complications, you could be back in the saddle in 10 weeks. No matter what, though, follow your doc's instructions for you. The horses will wait for you and it's not worth jeopardizing the great results. I haven't regretted by DIEP one time, even though it's seems like a long slog...

Good luck with everything.
I would love to hear about your recovery as far as riding goes. I'm an eventer and I'm considering the DIEP w/ my mastectomy next month. I'm just finishing my chemo.
I found this thread by Googling DIEP and horse riding. If I turn out to be BrCA+, I will get bilateral mx and reconstruction. I hope I'm a candidate for DIEP mostly because, like you Erin, I am a rider and cannot bear to be out of the saddle for six or ten more months. Can you tell how long before you were riding again?
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Returned my calls asap, got in to see him when I needed to, explained everything, treated me like a friend and that he truly cared, did an amazing job!!!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
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