Breast reconstruction with DIEP flap surgery

We talk about how the DIEP procedure may help you.

October 15, 2020


Sometimes when someone has breast cancer, doctors need to remove part or all of one or both breasts. Breast reconstruction surgery involves rebuilding the shape of the breast. This can be done using a patient's tissue, implants or both. 

One option is the deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap procedure. Two Polyclinic plastic surgeons, Dr. Kevin Beshlian and Dr. Keith Paige, perfected the procedure. 

"The idea is to take the tissue from the stomach, essentially the same tissue that would be discarded if you were doing a tummy tuck, but transplant it and make a breast," said Beshlian. "And when it's done, it's good for the rest of your life,” added Paige.

Carrie Stark knows the benefits of DIEP well. Several years ago, the young mother of three was treated for breast cancer at The Polyclinic, including breast reconstruction using the DIEP method. She has made a successful recovery and is back to her normal routine. 



Taking the tummy tuck to a new level


In this video, Beshlian and Paige talk about the benefits of DIEP flap method, and Carrie Stark explains why she chose DIEP over breast implants.

Video Component

Narrator: Health Link on Evening is sponsored by The Polyclinic.

Female Reporter: Welcome back to the show everyone. Well this is breast cancer awareness month, also known as Pinktober. Surviving the disease is no easy journey. And one big decision people have to make is what to do after treatment. As Michael shows us, one option was perfected right here in Seattle. 

Michael: Shortly after celebrating the birth of her third child, Carrie Stark learned she had breast cancer. To get rid of it, the 32 year-old mom had a double mastectomy, chemo, and radiation. Then, came the decision of how to replace her missing breasts. 

Carrie Stark: You know, after the mastectomy, there was definitely a feeling of disfigurement, um you would, you know, walk in, look at clothing and go “oh yeah, I can’t wear that”. 

Michael: To regain her confidence, Carrie opted not to have implants but microsurgical breast reconstruction. It’s a unique procedure perfected at The Polyclinic by Drs. Keith Page and Kevin Beshlian. They’re taking the tummy tuck to a whole new level. 

Dr. Kevin Beshlian: Conceptually that’s the idea, take the same tissue- essentially the same tissue- that would be discarded if you were doing a tummy tuck and instead transplant it and make a breast. 

Carrie Stark: Taking that extra tissue from the abdomen that’s left over after kids was a great option for me.

Dr. Keith Page: And the other thing is that it’s- when it’s done, it’s permanent. It’s good for the rest of their life. 

Michael: Looking at a CT scan of Carrie’s body, the doctors pinpoint what belly fat will substitute for breast tissue. 

Carrie Stark: And then they reattach all of it so it’s your own tissue, it’s live tissue. It’s got blood flow, it’s got nerve endings.

Dr. Keith Page: That’s what makes it an attractive operation. 

Michael: It’s surgery where the doctors work side by side as a team, for hours on end, to make new, natural breasts. 

Dr. Kevin Beshlian: Because there’s two different operative fields. There’s an operative field here and there’s an operative field here. But then we work together at certain crucial portions.



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.