Like the DIEP, the SIEA replaces the skin and soft tissue removed at mastectomy with soft, warm, living tissue by borrowing skin and fatty tissue from the abdomen.
For some women the blood vessels just under the skin in the lower abdomen may be chosen as the feeding vessels for the required tissue. The procedure is otherwise the same as the DIEP flap. A bikini line incision is designed and the necessary skin, fat, and tiny supplying blood vessels are taken.
These tiny blood vessels are matched to supplying vessels at the mastectomy site and reattached under a microscope.
Unlike conventional TRAM flap reconstructions, use of our refined perforator flap techniques allow for collection of this tissue without sacrifice of underlying abdominal muscles. In fact the use of the superficial vessels in the SIEA allows for complete avoidance of the abdominal muscles because the blood vessel used do not travel within the muscle. The vessel supplying the lower abdominal tissue are preserved and the transfered skin and fat are transformed into a new breast mound.
Like the DIEP lower abdominal tissue is harvested leaving a thin scar and a flat belly, very much like a tummy tuck.
Restoration of the nipple and areola follow. Scars fade substantially with time. For many women the reconstructed breast may be firmer and have a more youthful appearance than their natural breasts.”