Transverse Rectus Abdominus Myocutaneous Flap
TRAM flap reconstruction is one of the many options available to women who need 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.
TRAM Flap Candidates
- Women who have undergone mastectomy (complete breast removal) of one or both breasts
- Patients who want breast reconstruction without tissue expanders or breast implants
If you have undergone abdominal surgery in the past, or if you don’t have sufficient abdominal tissue to spare, you may not be a good candidate for the TRAM procedure. Obese patients, diabetic patients, and those with a recent history of smoking may also.
What to Expect
TRAM flap breast reconstruction is performed with a general anesthetic. The operation takes about 2-3 hours to perform. If the procedure is done during the same operation as your mastectomy, it will require 4-5 hours.
Skin, muscle and fat tissues are moved from the abdomen to the chest, keeping the blood supply for the donor tissue intact. Dr. Bajaj will then shape the tissues to create a new breast mound. The incision at the abdomen is closed in a similar manner to a tummy tuck.
Expect to stay in the hospital for a few days to a week. When you return home, Dr. Bajaj will advise you to rest and postpone showering for several days. A special bra will be provided for the recovery period. During recovery, be sure to arrange for a friend or family member to help with your aftercare and transportation to post-operative appointments. To control pain, Dr. Bajaj will prescribe medications.
After approximately two months, the recovery will be nearly complete. At that stage, additional procedures such as nipple and areola reconstruction can be performed.
Learn More About TRAM 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.