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The Skinny on Weight Loss After DIEP flap Reconstruction

Category: | Posted on: October 26, 2017 Updated on: May 31, 2019 | Author:

Seven months ago I decided to have weight loss surgery and I opted for the minimally invasive procedure called Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. I had a double mastectomy with DIEP flap reconstruction in December of 2014 and one of my biggest concerns following weight loss surgery was how it would affect my reconstructed breasts. Being that DIEP flap uses natural tissue, I had been told that my new breasts would lose or gain weight as I did, just as natural breasts will do. I was quite content with the shape and size of my reconstructed breasts and I wondered how much the weight loss would change my breasts. I didn’t notice much of a difference at all when I lost about fifteen pounds prior to my surgery. As of now, I have lost a total of eighty pounds. While I have noticed my reconstructed breasts aren’t quite as large as they originally were, the change has not been as dramatic as I feared. They have decreased less than a cup in size, I was a full D prior to the weight loss surgery and still wear a D cup now. However, the size has gone from a 44D to a 34D. I think that my reconstructed breasts actually appear even larger than before because my waist line is so much smaller and I can wear more form fitting clothing. One thing I have noticed due to having less fat “cushion” at the top area of my chest, is that I can feel more scar tissue from the mastectomy. This has taken a while to get used to and trying to determine my new normal for what I feel during my monthly self breast exams. I am looking forward to having nipple tattooing done to add color to my reconstructed nipples sometime soon to totally complete my reconstruction.

Interestingly, I feel like it is my journey through mastectomy and reconstruction that gave me the courage to go forward with the weight loss surgery. Once you have had to have your breasts removed, for my case due to my BRCA mutation or for others a cancer diagnosis, it really challenges how you define yourself as a woman. For me, I actually felt more empowered than ever and capable of facing whatever life throws at me. I also found a new desire to make taking care of myself a priority, something I didn’t really do before. I am proud of my decisions and certainly very grateful for how it has all turned out.

I know many women considering DIEP flap are concerned about weight loss after their reconstruction. Overall, even with dramatic weight loss, I can say that my reconstructed breasts are holding up just fine!

About the Author

Katrina Smith

Katrina Smith is the Social Media Coordinator/ Patient Liaison at Midwest Breast and Aesthetic Surgery. She is a devoted wife and mother of four boys.
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*Our blog entries are written in order to further educate our patients and raise awareness towards topics related to plastic surgery. Any solutions offered on this blog are intended to help possible patients develop educated decisions before undergoing a consultation with our doctors.

6 thoughts on “The Skinny on Weight Loss After DIEP flap Reconstruction”

  • Avatar Caroline Sokol

    You rock Katrina. So proud of your brave moves to care for the whole you!

  • Avatar Sara

    Thank you so much for writing this! I had Diep flap 5/2016 and go for the sleeve on 2/5/18. I wondered how it was all going to go, breast-wise.

  • Avatar Carol

    Thank you so much for the info and insight Katrina. I am considering my options after a recent breast cancer diagnosis and while I was leaning toward the DIEP flap procedure and reconstruction, I became worried about the “shape” of my new breasts afterward because I have about 40 pounds to lose. I have been scouring the internet to find info and yours is the first honest and real post I have found. Thank you for your honest and genuine reflection. I see that you said that post-weight-loss your breasts are holding up well. Do you mind my asking if there was noticeable loss of volume or significant “drooping”’after the weight loss? I’m sorry to ask such a personal question but I can’t seem to find the answers I’m looking for elsewhere. – Thanks again ❤️

  • Avatar Alicia Tackett

    You are amazing and I’m so blessed to have you in my life!!

  • Avatar Marsha Rothel

    Thank you for sharing this. I had breast cancer in 2012 followed by deep flat. I am scheduled for the gastric sleeve July 8th. If there is any way the person who wrote this could reach out to me I would really love it. I just had some questions

  • Avatar Stacee

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have made my day!!! I need to lose about 80 pounds and was so scared that I would have deflated boobs that looked like pancakes. I can now move forward with no fear that my body is going to not look like “me”

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