All visitors are required to wear masks.

For COVID-19 safety, all visitors to ChristianaCare facilities and services are required to wear masks. This includes visitors who are vaccinated. Please read our visitor guidelines before arrival.

Masks required at outpatient locations; visitors and support persons limited

All visitors at outpatient locations must be masked in alignment with the masking guidelines on our visitation policy page here. Patients at ChristianaCare’s outpatient services are advised to come to their appointments alone unless a support person is absolutely needed. If a support person is needed, such as a parent, guardian or spokesperson, we highly encourage that the support person be vaccinated. Outpatient practices are not requiring vaccination or a negative COVID test for visitors at this time.

All hospital visitors required to be vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test.

  • Inpatients in our Christiana, Wilmington and Union hospitals may have one visitor daily between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. The visitor must be 16 or older.
  • Patients having outpatient surgery may have one support person accompany them. Support persons must be 16 or older.
  • All visitors and surgical support people must show proof of vaccination OR a negative COVID-19 test within the prior 72 hours.

Before visiting, click here for more details about visitation.

Visit or for local vaccination and testing sites.

Plastic Surgery


DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap is a type of breast reconstruction surgery. This flap procedure involves use of the skin and fat tissue from the lower abdomen to rebuild the breast. The entire breast mound can be recreated without the use of an implant. The DIEP flap procedure is a completely muscle-sparing operation and does not move the core strength muscles of the abdomen (the rectus abdomnimus). Therefore, abdominal wall / core strength is preserved.

DIEP is a free flap procedure, during which the skin and fat of the lower abdomen are detached from their main blood supply and reattach to blood vessels in the chest using a microscope.

This complex flap procedure requires a 3-4-day hospital stay during which the circulation to the flap is closely monitored. You will be placed on mild blood thinning medications while you recover.

Who can have this procedure?

DIEP may be right for you if you:

  • Have enough lower abdominal tissue.
  • Have not had previous surgery on your abdomen.
  • Wish to retain strength in your core.
  • Have had radiation to the chest wall in the past.

Things to Consider

  • Not all breast reconstructive surgeons have the expertise to perform this complex procedure. ChristianaCare’s Stephanie Caterson, M.D. is very experienced in flap procedures and has performed more than 1500 DIEP flaps.
  • DIEP flaps do not remove the rectus muscle, therefor maintain abdominal strength.
  • DIEP flaps do not require the use of synthetic mesh to support the area where the abdominal tissue was removed. This lowers the risk for abdominal hernias or bulges, compared to TRAM flaps.
  • DIEP flap leaves a long scar in the lower abdomen above the pubic line.
  • DIEP requires a longer hospital stay and recovery time compared to implant-based reconstruction.
  • For more information, please visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call our office at 302-623-3605.