When you’ve lost part or all of your breast due to breast cancer, you have a number of reconstructive options. TRAM flap reconstruction takes the skin and fat from the abdominal area and moves it up to rebuild the breast. Unlike latissimus dorsi reconstruction, this procedure isn’t usually used alongside implants. This means you won’t have to worry about having them replaced in years to come.
One of the main benefits of this type of procedure is that it produces a more natural feel. It is the longest-running reconstructive procedure, meaning most surgeons are familiar with the technique. It’s a more invasive procedure, as it cuts through the muscle, so the recovery time will typically be longer than other reconstructive options.
How does TRAM flap reconstruction work?
There are two types of TRAM flap reconstruction techniques that Mr Paul Tulley may use. The first is an attached (pedicled) procedure that involves moving a portion of the abdominal skin, fat, blood vessels and muscles up underneath the skin to the chest. The blood vessels continue to be attached to the original blood supply.
The second procedure is a free TRAM flap surgery which cuts the skin, fat, blood vessels and muscles from the abdomen before they are placed into the chest. The blood vessels are then reattached to the chest’s blood vessels using a microsurgery technique. In some cases, the surgeon may even choose to use as little of the abdominal muscle as possible, resulting in a faster recovery.
The donor site tends to be closed just like it is in an abdominoplasty procedure. As mentioned, the recovery time is slightly longer than other procedures, but every aspect of your recovery and aftercare will l be discussed with you at your initial consultation with Mr Tulley.
If you’re planning on getting pregnant, have had numerous prior abdominal surgeries or if you have very little available belly fat, this might not be the best reconstructive option. All of your treatment options will also be discussed in the consultation.
Breast Reconstruction: Introduction
Breast Reconstruction: Implant or Expander
Breast Reconstruction: Latissimus Dorsi Flap
Nipple Reconstruction and Surgery to Produce Breast Symmetry