Transverse Rectus Abdominus Myocutaneous Flap
TRAM flap reconstruction is one option available to women who wish to rebuild and reshape their breasts after having breast cancer removal surgery, or mastectomy. While this procedure can’t restore breast function, it can restore the feminine curves of your upper body.
The procedure gets its name from the transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous muscle that is used, along with surrounding tissue, to perform breast reconstruction.
The pedicle TRAM flap uses the lower abdominal tissue to make a new breast. However, this tissue gets its blood supply from the underlying rectus abdominis muscle (your “six-pack” muscle). Because the muscle is taken with the lower abdominal skin and fat, with the pedicle TRAM flap, women typically notice abdominal weakness due to a loss of muscle. The TRAM flap uses the same lower abdominal skin and fat between your belly button and pubic bone as the DIEP flap.
As a resident in plastic surgery, Dr. Bajaj spoke with many women who had undergone a TRAM flap and also performed many of these procedures herself. After speaking with these women and hearing their stories of how it was difficult to sit up or perform other activities because of the loss of the abdominal muscle, Dr. Bajaj chose to pursue a microsurgical fellowship at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center to gain more experience with the DIEP flap. With the DIEP flap, the abdominal muscle is preserved so that there is minimal loss of abdominal strength and a lower risk of hernias.
Other advantages of the DIEP flap include less post-operative pain and a shorter recovery time. For these reasons, she chooses to perform the DIEP flap and no longer performs the TRAM flap.
Learn About DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction
For more information about breast reconstruction in Oklahoma City, please contact Bajaj Plastic Surgery by calling 405‐810‐8448 to set up a consultation.