Natural-Looking Reconstruction of the Breasts for Austin, TX, and Beyond
Like a DIEP flap, a superficial inferior epigastric artery (SIEA flap) at Austin's Christine Fisher MD is an advanced breast reconstruction technique in which your surgeon uses your own living tissue instead of an implant to create your new breast. The advantages are a natural-looking and natural-feeling breast made of healthy, soft, living tissue that, unlike an implant, will not need to be replaced.
For the SIEA flap technique, Dr. Fisher removes a flap of skin and fat from your abdominal area without opening the underlying fascia and muscle or disrupting your motor nerves. The incision is placed low, much like a tummy tuck, with a secondary benefit of a flatter postoperative abdominal contour. The flap is then carefully shaped and transferred to your chest. The blood vessels are connected to those in your chest wall or under your arm. It is this part of the procedure in particular—severing the very small blood vessels and reconnecting them using a microscope—that requires advanced technical skills, experience, and microsurgery training.
Austin Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
- Known for natural-looking aesthetic results in breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgery.
- Elected by peers for inclusion in Texas Monthly's Texas Super Doctors®: Rising Stars listing.
- Reconstructed over 3,000 patients, including more than 1,500 DIEP flap reconstructions.
- 4.9-star average rating over hundreds of reviews for cosmetic surgery.
The type of artery and vein used to supply blood to the newly reconstructed breast is the primary difference between a SIEA flap, which uses the blood vessels found in the fatty tissue just below the skin, and a DIEP flap, which uses deeper vessels under the rectus abdominis muscle. This difference makes a SIEA flap reconstruction a more technically demanding procedure. Less than 20 percent of patients have the appropriate vascular anatomy to sustain a SIEA flap. Your surgeon will make a preliminary determination that this flap is appropriate based on a preoperative vascular CT scan. Only after examining the blood vessels in the operating room can your surgeon can make a final determination.
A Personal Touch is Key
Patients who choose Christine Fisher MD for their SIEA flap surgery will work with a plastic surgeon who truly understands the importance of a personal connection. Breast reconstruction and all of the decisions that go along with it require intimate conversations that cover a patient's goals for herself, as well as technical aspects of the procedure itself. Dr. Fisher ensures that each consultation allows for ample time to build that relationship between surgeon and patient, as well for answering any questions that might arise.
The SIEA flap technique requires more initial operating time than an implant reconstruction, but the reconstruction is complete in one surgery. Your SIEA flap surgery recovery requires several days of rest in the hospital to monitor the flap before you are sent home. Most patients can expect to be sore and have less energy for the first couple of weeks after surgery, can resume light activity such as walks and driving after two weeks of rest, and should avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for at least six weeks.
Download Our Breast Reconstruction Post-Operative Care Guides
We've compiled detailed post-operative care instructions to best equip our breast reconstruction patients throughout their recovery process. To ensure the best and safest recovery, your plan encompasses appropriate prescriptions and clear directions towards maintaining your comfort to get you back to normal life and activity as soon as possible. Individual patients respond uniquely, and the type of procedure may differ, but these basic guidelines will help you along your journey.Download Post-Operative Care Guides
In many cases, the nipple can be reconstructed at the time of your first breast reconstruction surgery. Otherwise, the nipple will be reconstructed as part of a second touch-up surgery three months after your initial surgery. Three dimensional areola tattooing is also available in the office to add color to the areola and the appearance of texture to the reconstructed nipple. The end result is a breast that looks, feels, and moves like a natural part of your body—because it is.