Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator Flap Breast Reconstruction in Patients with Previous Bariatric Surgery: Is It Safe and Feasible?

Carlos A. Martinez, Jules A. Walters, Erika A. Sato, Jason J. Hall, Sean G. Boutros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background Obesity is widely recognized as a major health concern and a leading cause of preventable death. The correlation between obesity and breast cancer has been thoroughly described by several authors. Bariatric surgery is often associated with redundant abdominal tissue, often leading patients to consider body-contouring procedures. Autologous tissue breast reconstruction using the deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap has advantages because it is tissue that is normally discarded during postbariatric body contouring. Methods We conducted a retrospective chart review of 18 DIEP flaps performed by the senior author in 9 patients for breast reconstruction between February 2008 and May 2013. All patients underwent mastectomies. All patients underwent bariatric surgery preceding breast reconstruction. Breast reconstruction was performed immediately in 13 cases and delayed in 5 cases. Results Mean age of the study population was 44.6 years (range, 41-57 years). The mean maximum body mass index of the patients was 44 (range, 37.6-52.1), and the mean current body mass index at the time of the reconstruction was 30.7 (range, 24.3-38.1). No intraoperative complications were reported. No fascia or muscle was taken during flap dissection. Mean operative time was 632 minutes (range, from 480 to 750 minutes). Average hospital stay was 4 days. No partial or total flap loss was reported. There were no postoperative hernias or bulges at the abdominal donor site. Conclusions This series represents the largest group of patients undergoing DIEP flap breast reconstruction after bariatric surgery. In the hands of experienced microsurgeons, breast reconstruction with the DIEP flap in postbariatric patients represents a low-risk option with high satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-220
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of plastic surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • bariatric surgery
  • breast reconstruction
  • DIEP flap
  • microsurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator Flap Breast Reconstruction in Patients with Previous Bariatric Surgery: Is It Safe and Feasible?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this