What is SIEA Flap Reconstruction?

SIEA (Superficial Inferior Epigastric Artery) flap reconstruction is similar to the DIEP flap technique. The main difference is that the SIEA method uses blood vessels found right under the tissue of the lower abdomen. This procedure uses the patient’s own tissue to reconstruct the breast.

The SIEA method is used less frequently than the DIEP flap method because the arteries used are often too small to sustain the flap in many patients. Also, those who’s vessels have been cut during previous surgeries, such as a C-section or hysterectomy cannot undergo this procedure. A consultation with Dr. Snyder prior to your procedure can help to determine if this option can benefit you.

How is SIEA Flap Reconstruction Performed?

During this procedure, your surgeon will collect fat, tissue, and blood vessels from the lower belly to create a breast mound. We will carefully reattach the flap blood vessels to the vessels in the chest using microsurgery. The muscle of the lower abdomen is left undisturbed.


Patients can expect to spend three to four days in the hospital following their procedure. Any drains that have been placed can be removed after one to two weeks. Overall, recovery from SIEA flap reconstruction takes about four to six weeks.