Recovery from the DIEP flap procedure is shorter and less painful as compared to similar procedures and most patients will be able to return to their normal activities within 4-6 weeks.
Following the surgery, you will go to a regular, private room. The very next morning, you will be given a regular meal, allowed to walk the halls, and have your IV removed, if you wish. You will be discharged early the following morning. The total length of stay after surgery is typically less than 48 hours. During this time, the nurses and Dr. Orseck with continuously monitor the blood flow within the flap, and provide assistance for your daily needs.
After discharge, Dr. Orseck will arrange a home nurse to visit you daily for approximately 3 days after surgery to help answer any questions you may have.
In the weeks and months that follow, any scarring, tenderness and redness will diminish. The new breast will look very much like your natural breast, but you will not feel the same sensations as with a natural breast.