DIEP flap reconstruction on 6/28. It is still rock hard and painful. Will it get soft? My PS says just massage it?

mastectomy + immediate DIEP flap reconstruction on 6/28. 5 mm Small triple negative breast cancer in diagnosed in 3/2016 In lumpectomy scar bed from microcalcifications diagnosed 13 years earlier that was positive cancer. Had 35 rounds of radiation 13 years ago. After Diep surgery developed eschar.... Have healing problems. Breast is lumpy

Doctor Answers 4

DIEP flap healing

You need to be seen in person.  It could be related to the flap itself having some secondary healing or the radiation or both.  Best to follow with your surgeon.


New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

DIEP flap healing

Thanks for reaching out.  Your flap will go through many changes in the first 6 months after surgery.  Sometimes the vascularity sttuggles and may cause fat necrosis. If this doesn't get better these areas of harder fat can be removed.


I hope this helps :)

John Paul Tutela, MD
Livingston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction

There can be sweeping in the mastectomy skin, the flap or both.  I use lymphatic massage to treat this especially in mastectomy skin.Unfortunately if you are having wound healing issues this can limit the ability to have lymphatic massage treatment by a therapist.

DIEP flap reconstruction on 6/28. It is still rock hard and painful. Will it get soft? My PS says just massage it

Thank you for your question.  An examination would be needed to answer your question.   Hard lumpy areas may be just normal post op swelling, effects of radiation or fat necrosis.  Your still very early in ypur recovery and ypur the flaps will change over the next few months.  Discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon.  

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