Having breast cancer can really turn your whole world upside down. And although a mastectomy can remove cancer cells and put you in the clear, the sensory nerves in your breasts are often damaged— leaving you with a loss of breast or nipple sensation. Even though some of the sensation in your breasts will return over time, it’s usually nothing near to the sensation that you once experienced before surgery. The American Association of Plastic Surgeons, however, just released an article discussing how sensory nerve repair can be done at the time of a DIEP flap breast reconstruction surgery. Read on to learn more.
What Is DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction?
After a mastectomy, there are a variety of breast reconstruction surgeries that you can choose from. As one of the most common forms of surgeries, however, the DIEP is popular because it uses a patient’s own skin and fat to reconstruct the breast tissues.
How Are Nerves Repaired During a DIEP?
The wonderful thing about a DIEP is that it cannot only restore the look of your breasts but the sensation as well. According to the article, a sensory nerve that provides feeling in the lower abdominal skin can be transferred into the breast. Once the flap is connected to the chest, this nerve can be used to rejoin nerves that were cut during the mastectomy— the connectivity between new and broken nerves gives patients a higher likelihood of regaining lost sensation in the breasts.
Nothing can prepare you for the feeling of being deemed a breast cancer survivor. However, as one of the downfalls of this title, it often comes with some surgical scars and even the loss of sensation in your breasts. With having your nerves repaired during DIEP, however, you can restore the look and feel of your breasts. To learn more about this article and DIEP, contact The Plastic Surgery Group of Rochester today!