Legacy Health expands reconstruction choices for breast cancer patients with innovative procedure (Photo)
Dr. Shane Kim and Dr. Hema Thakar of Legacy Medical Group - Reconstructive Surgery are the only surgeons in Oregon who perform DIEP Flap Reconstruction as a team
Highly specialized DIEP flap surgery uses patients own tissue to create more natural-looking breasts after a mastectomy
Portland Ore. (September 30, 2014) - Legacy Health is offering breast cancer patients who have undergone a mastectomy a new breast reconstruction option - Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator or DIEP Flap breast reconstruction. Legacy Medical Group - Reconstructive Surgery's microsurgeons Shane Kim, MD and Hema Thakar, MD, perform the highly specialized procedure, which involves transplanting a patients' own tissue and blood vessels to recreate a breast that has a more natural appearance and contains no foreign bodies.
The end result is more natural-looking anatomy that is able to age, gain and lose weight with the patient throughout her life. DIEP flaps have better longevity than implants as there is no chance of leaks or ruptures and there are fewer surgeries necessary as no implants are involved that need to be replaced repeatedly throughout a patients' lifetime.
"DIEP Flap is the most advanced form of breast reconstruction available today, however, many women unfortunately do not even know it exists," said Shane Kim, MD, a mircosurgeon at Legacy Medical Group - Reconstructive Surgery who is fellowship trained in DIEP Flap breast reconstruction. "As the gold standard for breast reconstruction for women who have undergone radiation, we want to raise awareness of that this option exists when women are making decisions regarding the long term health of their breasts."
Very few U.S. surgeons are trained to perform the DIEP flap procedure and Dr. Kim is the most experienced microsurgeon performing it in the state of Oregon and he draws many patients from all over the state. His partner, Dr. Thakar, is also very experienced having received additional training in Winnipeg, Canada at University of Manitoba where DIEP flap is a commonplace.
Drs. Kim and Thakar are also the only physicians in Oregon who perform DIEP flap procedures as a team. DIEP flap requires highly skilled microsurgery skills (few plastic surgeons are also microsurgeons) and the procedure takes about five-and-a-half hours per side. The benefits of having two experienced microsurgeons working together allows for decreased operative time, less anesthetic, and increased safety for the patient. In addition, Legacy Medical Group - Reconstructive Surgery's DIEP flap patients recover in Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center's Cancer Care Unit under the care of a nursing staff with specialized expertise in the cancer removal and reconstruction healing processes.
About DIEP Flap
After mastectomy, fat and skin from a patient's abdomen is used to create a new breast. Zero or very little abdominal muscle is removed and blood vessels are moved to supply the transplanted tissue with blood, creating a more natural-looking anatomy. Ideal candidates of DIEP flap are those who are of a healthy weight but have enough belly tissue to remove and have not previously undergone a tummy tuck.
Legacy Medical Group - Reconstructive Surgery works closely with patients to identify the best possible reconstruction option for each individual. Additional specialties include:
* Muscle Sparing Transverse Rectus Abdominis (TRAM) Flap - skin, fat, and sometimes the flap of muscle in the lower abdomen between the waist and pubic bone are used to reconstruct the breast.
* Transverse Upper Gracilis (TUG) Flap - skin, fat, and sometimes muscle from the inner thigh;
* Latissimus Dorsi (LD) Flap - skin, fat, and sometimes muscle from a patient' back, below the shoulder and behind the armpit;
* Superior Gluteal Artery Perforator (S-GAP) Flap - skin, fat, and sometimes muscle from the top of the buttocks; and
* prosthetics, including traditional immediate tissue expander placement and immediate implant reconstruction.