For Release: December 21, 2010
Jim Gosky 330.344.6083, firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Kilgore 330.344.6014, email@example.com
Akron General Surgeon Pioneers Alternative for Breast Reconstruction
For the first time in the Akron area, breast cancer patients who face breast reconstruction after a mastectomy have another option. Akron General Plastic Surgeon Dr. John Pedersen is now offering “DIEP” Flap Reconstruction at Akron General Medical Center.
The DIEP Flap (Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator) is a tissue flap procedure that uses blood vessels, fat and skin from a woman’s abdomen to create a new breast mound after a mastectomy. This is different from traditional “TRAM” Flap Reconstruction in a number of ways, most notably that no muscle is moved – or removed – during the DIEP Flap procedure. As a result of this major advancement in microsurgical plastic surgery, there is virtually no risk of developing an abdominal hernia and there is significantly less pain and a faster recovery time because the muscle is spared. An added advantage to many women is the removal of the skin and fat results, in effect, in a tummy tuck. DIEP Flap procedures have a less than one percent failure rate.
To date, Dr. Pedersen has performed the new procedure on two Akron-area women, both of whom have recovered very well. Several more surgeries are scheduled. He notes that the procedure requires more time in surgery (about six hours) because of the delicate microsurgery involved in the transferring of a dependable blood supply to the new breast. Recovery time, however, is shortened from a typical three to four weeks to less than two weeks with the DIEP procedure.
Many mastectomy patients can benefit from DIEP Flap, but women who are very thin or who have already had abdominal skin and fat removed are not good candidates. Active smokers also may not benefit from the new procedure.
"We expect this new procedure to become an increasingly popular option for breast cancer patients," said Dr. Pedersen. "At a time when these women are undergoing incredible stress, we are very glad we can help them in their healing and recovery process."
Akron General Health System is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with the mission of improving the health and lives of patients and the community. Akron General Health System includes: Akron General Medical Center, a 511-bed teaching and research medical center, and Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute, the area's largest provider of rehabilitation services; Akron General Partners, which includes Partners Physician Group, the Akron General Health & Wellness Centers, Lodi Community Hospital, Community Health Centers and other companies; Akron General Community Health Ventures, which includes Visiting Nurse Service and Affiliates, the largest and most comprehensive provider of home healthcare services in Ohio, and Rose Lane Health Center; and Akron General Development Foundation. For more information about Akron General Health System, visit about Akron General.