SMMC surgeons carry out 1st DIEP flap breast surgery | THE DAILY HERALD

Dr. Marlon Buncamper (centre) and Dr. Marleen Meesters (right) with operating room staff performing the DIEP flap microsurgery.


CAY HILL–International plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon Dr. Marlon Buncamper recently performed the first-ever deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap breast surgery at St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC).

Dr. Buncamper, shadowing plastic surgeon Dr. Marleen Meesters and a skilled operating room team performed the surgery to restore the breast shape of a patient who previously underwent a mastectomy as breast cancer treatment. The patient has since made a full recovery, SMMC shared in a recent press release.

The complex, seven-hour surgery involved taking tissue from the abdomen and relocating it to create a new breast. Through the use of microsurgery, the skin, fat and vessels from the abdomen were transposed to the breast area, resulting in new breasts that feel and react naturally because they are made of the patient’s own tissue. Known as DIEP flap surgery, this procedure is considered to have fewer long-term risks and complications than alternative options for breast reconstruction.

Dr. Buncamper, an accomplished plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon with roots in St. Maarten, but practices in Belgium and the Netherlands, joined SMMC as a rotational specialist in 2020. He was also instrumental in establishing the Plastic Surgery Department at SMMC. Following the successful surgery, Dr. Buncamper expressed his pride in being part of this monumental procedure. “I’m proud to have been part of this monumental surgery which is the first on St. Maarten. I’m happy that we were able to give a woman on St. Maarten the opportunity to regain her femininity and to not have to leave the island to do it. I hope that we will be able to help many more women in the Dutch Caribbean as well,” he remarked.

SMMC chief executive officer (CEO) Dr. Felix Holiday commended the team for their achievement. He stated, “It fills us with immense pride that we are now able to expand the services we provide with the addition of this new procedure. Dr. Buncamper, Dr. Meesters and the entire operating room team have given this patient a new outlook on life and we look forward to providing many other women who have suffered through breast cancer more options for recovery and healing right here on St. Maarten.”

Patients interested in consultations at the Plastic Surgery Department of SMMC are encouraged to schedule an appointment by calling tel. (721)543-1111 or 910 ext 1300 between 8:00am and 4:00pm, Monday through Friday. Social and Health Insurances SZV patients are required to obtain a referral letter from their family doctor.

Source: The Daily Herald