Tuesday, October 3

Breast cancer: the new DIEP technique allows the reconstruction of the breast without the need for implants

The breast cancer will be the most diagnosed in women throughout the year 2021, with 33,375 cases, according to estimates by the Spanish Network of Cancer Registries (REDECAN).

In addition, of the total diagnosed cases, it is estimated that just over 64% of patients require a mastectomy, but only 30% are operated on for breast reconstruction, according to the Spanish Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (SECPRE).

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One of the techniques used when performing this type of reconstruction is the DIEP technique, currently considered “the Gold Standard, or reference test, in autologous breast reconstruction”, in the words of the doctor. Antonio Tejerina placeholder image, specialist in plastic, aesthetic and restorative surgery of the Breast Unit of the Hospital Vithas Madrid Aravaca-Fundación Tejerina.

By this procedure DEEP (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator or Perforantes de la Epigastric Inferior Profunda), doctor Tejerina – together with a team of plastic surgeons specialized in breast reconstruction, – uses “the patient’s own abdominal tissue, without the need to use implants. This type of reconstruction is called autologous, “he explains.

To do this, they use skin and fat from the lower abdomen, preserving the muscular function of the area. “Tissue transplantation is carried out by microsurgery for the union of the vessels,” adds the specialist.

A permanent result over time

According to Dr. Tejerina, we are talking about a “highly complex” surgery such as the DIEP technique. A procedure that «should be performed in centers of reference in breast reconstruction and that they have plastic surgery teams with extensive experience in microsurgery.

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In fact, in Spain, the technique is applied in a small group of specialized centers.

The main advantage of using this type of procedure for breast reconstruction is that, by using the patient’s own tissue, “no prostheses or breast dermal matrices are used and, therefore, all complications related to use are avoided. implants », details the specialist.

Furthermore, according to Dr. Tejerina, it is not a painful surgery, which is why, from the second postoperative day, «the patient controls the discomfort only with paracetamol.

But he must stay between five and six days in the hospital after the intervention and requires four weeks until his complete recovery.

Another advantage of this technique is that the reconstructed breast changes volume with the patient.

“Since it is living tissue, if the woman gets fat, the breast gets fat and, if she loses weight, the breast also loses weight, so that symmetry is maintained throughout life”, explains Tejerina.

The most common cancer in women

The most common cancer in women In this sense, he assures that «a permanent result is achieved over time with an appearance very similar to a normal chest.

Finally, the surgeon adds that, by using the possible excess fat from the abdomen, “the patient benefits from a aesthetic improvement of the abdominal contour, as if it were a tummy tuck ».

Dr. Tejerina recalls that breast cancer is the most common in women and increasingly occurs at younger ages.

For this reason, he emphasizes the importance of prevention, “conducting annual reviews with mammography. We know that early diagnosis saves lives and, therefore, our efforts must be aimed at remembering the importance of routine check-ups from the age of 40, ”he concludes.

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