A deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap procedure is a procedure used to reconstruct a woman's breast following cancer treatment. It takes about four to six weeks to recover from a deep inferior epigastric artery perforator (DIEP) flap procedure and resume most normal activities. You will be sore for about a week or two and then begin to improve every day.
Following your surgery, you will stay in the hospital for three or four days. You will be able to eat the next day after surgery, and you will be able to get out of bed and walk with assistance on the second day after surgery. While at home you will be able to do all activities of daily living. Heavy or strenuous activity should be avoided until follow-up with your surgeon. You will also have three to four surgical drains depending on whether one or two breasts are reconstructed. In most circumstances, these drains will remain in for one to two weeks. If they are highly productive, they will stay in longer.