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SIEA Flap for Breast Reconstruction

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The SIEA (superficial inferior epigastric artery) flap is a type of breast reconstruction surgery. This is one way to replace a breast that was removed by mastectomy. The SIEA flap uses tissue from a woman's own body to make a new breast. This method creates a natural-feeling breast that is soft and warm.

To do this surgery, a surgeon takes fat and skin (but not muscle) from the lower belly area. A blood vessel called the superficial inferior epigastric artery is also removed from the lower belly. The tissue, or flap, is attached to the chest along with the new artery. This artery becomes the main blood supply for the new breast.

In some women, the artery for the SIEA may be too narrow to work well. In that case, the surgeon may need to cut through the muscles of the belly to find another artery. The procedure is then called a DIEP flap, from the name of the artery (deep inferior epigastric perforator).

Both the SIEA and the DIEP result in a flatter belly (a "tummy tuck").

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Douglas A. Stewart, MD - Medical Oncology
Current as of June 28, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 28, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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