What is a DIEP flap?

DIEP stands for Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator. This is the named vessel for which the tissue to be transferred is based. “Flap? is a plastic surgery term referring to the tissue which is to be transferred.
The deep inferior epigastric vessels arise from the external iliac vessels (the external iliac vessels become the femoral vessels in the leg). The deep inferior epigastric vessels course beneath the rectus abdominus (the major abdominal “six pack? muscle) on each side. These vessels send off branches to the muscle as well as through the muscle into the overlying fat. These perforating branches are those which are identified, preserved and transferred with the overlying tummy fat to reconstruct the breast.