What is an SIEA flap?
Like the DIEP flap, the SIEA flap is taken from your tummy to reconstruct your breast. In some woman there are very good blood vessels directly under the skin, which supply the lower abdomen. These vessels can be chosen as an alternative to the DIEP flap vessels. SIEA stands for Superficial Inferior Epigastric Artery. The advantage of this technique is that the abdominal wall is not harmed at all.
Why is the SIEA flap not always used?
There are two reasons: the blood supply is very inconsistent. Furthermore, the blood supply might only be sufficient to supply a small area of the abdomen, therefore only a limited sized breast can be reconstructed.
What are the risks associated with the SIEA flap?
SIEA flaps carry the same risks as other free flap procedures involving microsurgical techniques.