After deip flap, can the pubic area become puffy?

Its been 3 weeks after my double mastectomy and diep flap reconstruction and tufted pubic area looks puffy/swollen.

Doctor Answers 2

Bilateral DIEP flap reconstruction

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Yes it can happen after a bilateral DIEP flap.  As the swelling resolved after surgery this will improve.  Lymphatic massage helps improve this more quickly.

Prolonged swelling after DIEP flap

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Fullness in the pubic area after DIEP flap can occur for two reasons:

  1. The removed tissue has altered the way blood and fluids move in and out of the tissue causing congestion-  a fluid "traffic jam" where the old main roads are now closed. New pathways will form for fluid distribution, but it may take time. If you notice the swelling is worse when you've been standing all day and better when you wake up after lying down all night, this is most likely the case. 
  2. The tissue above the pubis in the lower abdomen that was probably sticking out somewhat and is gone now contrasts with the fullness in the pubic area. It's possible that this has not changed, but is now more prominent looking when compared to the new flatness of the tummy area. 

Heather Richardson, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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