DIEP reconstruction remakes patient's life
We talk about how the DIEP procedure can help you.
June 24, 2020
Breast reconstruction can make a dramatic difference for women who have had one or both breasts removed. Just ask Rachel Weaver.
In November 2014, Weaver had both breasts removed because of breast cancer. Then she started looking at breast reconstruction surgery. It involves rebuilding the shape of the breast using a patient’s tissue, implants or both.
Her first step was to find the right plastic surgeon. She wanted someone who did excellent work as well as someone she could trust. She spoke with a number of breast surgeons and all recommended Dr. Keith Paige, a plastic surgeon at The Polyclinic.
Paige and another plastic surgeon at The Polyclinic perfected a breast reconstruction surgery called deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap procedure. It involves transplanting tissue from another part of the patient’s body and making it into a breast.
Today, several years after her reconstruction, Weaver is happily doing CrossFit training and breaking records. And she’s deeply grateful to Paige and his staff for their support and expertise. “They're an amazing group of people,” she says.
Choosing DIEP surgery after a mastectomy
In this video, Weaver and Paige talk about why the DIEP flap surgery was a great choice for her.
Patient, Rachel Weaver: I was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ in August 2014, after pathology came back we realized I had invasive breast cancer. I had my double mastectomy in November of 2014. When I was first diagnosed I had several friends tell me I didn’t have to rush through getting any treatment done, to take my time and interview doctors and find one I was comfortable with. Interviewed four different breast surgeons and they all led back to one particular surgeon and when asked, when I asked him which plastic surgeon he would recommend he said without pause Dr. Paige. I met with several other plastic surgeons as well and they even recommended Dr. Paige for the particular procedure I wanted which was DFLM.
Dr. Keith Paige: When I first ah met ah Miss Weaver she had uhm, she had been previously diagnosed with breast cancer and had actually already had several attempts at trying to take care of the cancer through ah breast conserving techniques. Miss Weaver was very interested in trying to preserve as much as possible her natural breasts. So the DIEP flap which is just a reconstruction uses just a woman’s own tissue seemed a great route for her from her own perspective. Additionally she had worked very very hard at losing oh ah 150 pounds through diet and exercise and really remade her body through her own hard work. As a consequence of that she did have some extra skin and soft and some extra fat in the abdominal area which was a sort of perfect situation for us to be able to repurpose it if you will to build two new breasts.
Patient, Rachel Weaver: If I moved to another state I would travel to see Dr. Paige his amazing his skill, his abilities, his staff has been patient and understanding and allowing me the things I’m allowed to do and encouraging me along the way. So I am back to breaking my personal records and Crossfit and it is an amazing feeling to go in with the strength and I feel like in this last year I’ve had a custom-built support group and Dr. Page and his staff are part of that. Um thank you all for everything, um it has been an amazing journey and getting to have my body back. I couldn’t have done it without them literally but um they’re an amazing group of people to work with and I would definitely recommend them and their staff for everything. Anything.
- American Cancer Society. Breast Reconstruction Surgery. Last revised September 18, 2019. Accessed February 16, 2021.
- Mayo Clinic. Breast reconstruction with flap surgery. Last reviewed December 29, 2020. Accessed February 16, 2021.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.