I had double mastectomy with immediate DIEP flap procedure on May 20, 2016. (Photo)
Doctor Answers 4
DIEP flap reconstruction
DIEP 3 months
Your results look excellent for three months and you should be very pleased with your reconstructive surgeon. Believe it or not, you are still in the healing phase and these big reconstructive procedures can take many months to heal fully. Scars and wounds can heal for a year or more after surgery. The swelling is an indication of healing. My question for you is whether you have received radiation on the left side after surgery or perhaps before with a lumpectomy as radiation can prolong the healing process and the swelling takes much longer to resolve in those cases.
As for the Nipple reconstruction and tattooing, the timing depends on the technique your surgeon uses for the reconstruction. Most will tattoo at the end once the reconstruction has healed and the swelling resolved.
Hi, Firstly, yes your results look good!3 months is still too early to judge the final results of what your breasts will be like. We usually think it is safe to say after approximately 6 months, you will have the best idea of your results. Swelling can be present after 3 months, but if it is leaving indentations then that sounds like there may be some edema present in that breast, and I would advise that you have a doctor look at it. It could be what is known as a seroma which can occur post operatively. In my experience I have never known a surgeon to do the areola tattoo before the reconstruction because it is not always predictable exactly how the breast will turn out, as there could be unforeseen events during surgery etc, therefore I think that most surgeons will tattoo after reconstruction and wait a few months for things to settle before committing to the tattoo.
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