Risks & Complications
There is a possibility for additional procedures following your flap reconstruction. There is a possible impact on the area of tissue retrieval, such as loss of sensation or increased risk for a hernia. Tissue death (necrosis) may occur due to insufficient blood supply. However, a surgeon can trim this area if it is small enough. Loss of sensation may occur at the tissue donor site. There is also a risk of lumps forming due to firm scar tissue replacing fat tissue that had its circulation cut off, which can also be removed.
As with any surgical procedure, medical risks, bleeding, and wound complications may occur. These wounds however hardly ever require re-operations. The scars are frequently touched up during the revisional symmetry procedures.
Because of the underlying abdominal skin, the lower abdomen may have some areas with decreased sensation. While hernias or bulges are incredibly uncommon, a mesh may be used to reinforce the donor site.
Despite the hardship of postoperative recovery, breast free flap reconstructions (DIEP flaps) carry high long-term patient satisfaction rates.