Princeton Health News

New Option for Breast Reconstruction Available at Princeton Medical Center

December 18, 2018
Rendering of hospital with Penn Medicine sign

At Princeton Medical Center (PMC), women with breast cancer who undergo a mastectomy may now opt for a microvascular surgical procedure that uses their own tissue instead of artificial implants to reconstruct their breasts.

During the procedure, called the Deep Inferior Epigrastic Perforator (DIEP) flap procedure—or free flap procedure—surgeons remove a flap of tissue from the abdomen and shape it to recreate the breast.

The flap of tissue contains skin, fat and blood vessels that are reconnected in the chest to provide blood supply to the new breast. This helps healing and ensures that the reconstructed breast will incorporate naturally with surrounding tissue.

Studies show that the risk of infection, hospital readmission and the need for future surgeries are reduced with the flap procedure, said Evan B. Katzel, MD, a microvascular plastic surgeon with Princeton Medicine Physicians, the employed physician group of Penn Medicine Princeton Health. Dr. Katzel is among only a few surgeons in the region who perform the microvascular procedure.

“Breast implant surgery often requires follow-up surgeries over time and can lead to scar tissue and hardening of the area around the implant,” said Dr. Katzel. “The free flap surgery results in a more natural feeling and looking breast.”

The procedure can be performed at the same time as a mastectomy or it can be delayed until a future date, any time after the mastectomy.

Dr. Katzel performs flap surgeries at PMC and sees patients for pre-surgery consultations and post-surgery follow-up exams at Princeton Medicine’s office in the Medical Arts Pavilion, a medical office building attached to PMC.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 609-853-6365.

The DIEP flap procedure is part of a comprehensive breast reconstruction program offered at PMC. The breast care at PMC and the PMC Breast Health Center in East Windsor, N.J. has achieved accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, a quality program administered by the American College of Surgeons. The Breast Health Center is also designated by the American College of Radiology as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence.

About Penn Medicine Princeton Health
Penn Medicine Princeton Health is one of the most comprehensive healthcare systems in New Jersey, providing acute care hospital services through Princeton Medical Center; behavioral healthcare through Princeton House Behavioral Health; in-home nursing, rehabilitation and hospice care through Princeton HomeCare; primary and specialty care through Princeton Medicine Physicians; ambulatory surgery and wellness services. For more information, visit Penn Medicine Princeton Health is part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), which, together with the University of Pennsylvania’s Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine, forms Penn Medicine, one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research and excellence in patient care.

Andy Williams, 609-252-8785

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