Another way the abdominal tissue can be used for breast reconstruction is in the form of the Superficial inferior epigastric artery (SIEA) flap. Similar to the DIEP, this procedure allows the surgeon to only use the fat and skin from the abdominal wall in your lower abdomen based on its superficial blood supply. Again, abdominal muscle is left intact, to allow you to continue to use the abdominal muscles to maintain their core strength.
This procedure is similar to the DIEP, but the blood vessels used to harvest the abdominal tissue are from the superficial blood vessels of the lower abdomen. Muscles are not sacrificed and the risk of herniation and abdominal bulges is eliminated. Before surgery is performed, imaging studies such as CT Scans or MR Scans help in identifying the SIEA or the DIEP system for the breast reconstruction.