Recovering from TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction
TRAM Flap for Double MastectomyThe TRAM flap can be used for breast reconstruction after, or with, a double mastectomy. You must have enough abdominal tissue for two breasts. Your abdominal skin flap will be divided into two halves, and used to close each mastectomy incision. This double TRAM procedure will take twice as long as a single TRAM, and recovery time will also double. You may feel weak and be in pain for a few weeks afterward.
Special Considerations About the TRAM Flap
- One-shot deal – your surgeon can remove abdominal tissue only one time. If you need another breast reconstruction, you'll have to choose a different method.
- Bikini scar – your abdominal scar will be quite long. If you don't wear bikinis anyway, it's no problem. But if you don't want a scar from hip to hip on your tummy, the TRAM is not for you.
- Traveling navel – your belly button may get stretched or moved off-center during a TRAM. Your surgeon may be able to create a new navel for you.
- Looks good, feels OK – your new breast will feel like the real thing to your partner (warm, flexible, soft) but you won't have the same sensations from it as from your original breast. Nerves have been cut, so normal breast sensation will be lost.
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Sources: American Cancer Society. Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy. Types of Breast Reconstruction. Revised: 09/06/2007. Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. Breast reconstruction. Updated: April 21, 2008.
American Cancer Society. Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy. Types of Breast Reconstruction. Revised: 09/06/2007.
Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. Breast reconstruction. Updated: April 21, 2008.