Breast conservation surgery in the treatment of early stage breast cancer has become increasingly utilized as a means to avoiding mastectomy. While partial mastectomy defects (PMDs) may often be cosmetically acceptable, some cases warrant consideration of reconstructive options, and while several reconstructive options have been described in this role, a series of deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flaps has not been reported to date.


A cohort of 18 patients undergoing PMD reconstruction with a DIEP flap were included. Patient-specific data, operation details, cosmetic results, and complication rates were assessed. Oncologic outcomes, in particular recurrence rates, were also evaluated.


In our series there were no cases of partial or total flap necrosis, and overall complications were low. There were two cases of wound infection (both had undergone radiotherapy), managed conservatively, and one case of reoperation due to hematoma. There were no cancer recurrences or effect on oncologic management. Cosmetic outcome was rated as high by both patients and surgeon. The results were thus comparable with other reconstructive options.


Although autologous reconstruction has an established complication rate, our results suggest that the DIEP flap may be of considerable value for delayed reconstruction of selected larger partial mastectomy defects. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Microsurgery, 2011.