14 Months After Having Diep Flap Surgery I Still Get Swelling, is This Normal?

Doctor Answers 5

14 Months After Having Diep Flap Surgery I Still Get Swelling, is This Normal?

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This question is better asked of your plastic surgeon, in the setting of an office visit.Without photos and some additional info, it is not possible to offer any specific suggestion.

All the best.  

Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Swelling after DIEP

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Swelling after a year should be evaluated by you plastic surgeon. If it is in the abdomen it may be a hernia.

Dennis Hurwitz, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Prolonged swelling after Diep flap surgery

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Hello there.  You need to provide more information for me to comment.  Photos would be helpful as well.  Where is the swelling located? Is it constant or fluctuate (or change in size)? Is it soft or hard or uncomfortable?  You should also ask your plastic surgeon to examine you.

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Swelling after DIEP Flap

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Swelling 14 months after a DIEP flap is rather abnormal.   By this point, the tissue should have enough peripheral circulation to minimize any swelling or changes in size.

It would be helpful to know if you have any hardness or tenderness, which could signify fat necrosis and be causing your symptoms.

I recommend close followup with your plastic surgeon to evaluate and monitor your swelling.

Dr. GIll

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Swelling after surgery

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Generally we expect and advise patients that there will swelling up to a year after surgery and this usually improves over the year.  However, some patients can have swelling that can take longer but it should not a significant amount.  You can have partial fat necrosis of the flap and that can feel hard.  If that is what you referring to, then that may never completely go away.  If you had radiation before or after the DIEP flap, that can also delay the resolution of normal surgical swelling.  

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.