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Tram Flap Failure

sally11
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi, I'm new to the network. Was wondering if anyone has had a Tram flap failure. Had double masectomy and only one side took. I previously had cancer 6 years ago and it came back. It was radiated and I was on Tamoxifen for 5 years, also had Lumpectomy. The doctors couldn't give me an answer as to why this happened. So I now have a reconstructed breast that had no cancer to begin with and a masectomy. Need to heal from this surgery and go for another surgery which we will be going in through the back this time. Very scared it won't take again.The recovery time takes so long, not sure if it will be worth it. I would be devastated if it fails again.

seof
Posts: 826
Joined: Jun 2007

I have had a double mastectomy, and will be doing reconstruction this summer. I am planning to have the DIEP procedure, but I have heard of a few people experiencing rejection of their own tissue. Maybe someone will respond on this site with such an experience. I hope the next one is successful.

Best wishes, seof.

mmontero38's picture
mmontero38
Posts: 1523
Joined: Dec 2007

Hi Sally, Sorry to hear you had this problem. I had the tram flap last February and didn't have any problems with it. I knew someone that did but that was because she developed an infection while she was still in the hospital and her body then rejected it. She then had the lassitimus dorsi flap done which is what you will do from reading your posting. Will you need an implant with that? Keep us posted. Hugs, Lili

GreeneyedGirl's picture
GreeneyedGirl
Posts: 1003
Joined: Sep 2008

Hi Sally, I came to this website in Sept looking for insight to the latissimus flap procedure. I got great support, and in Oct had the surgery with an expander and am amazed at how I healed so nicely. I am fully expanded and awaiting surgery to have the expander removed and a saline implant put in. Was aiming for April, but spring sports and my youngest graduating from HS is causing me to think June is better. Let me know if I can answer any other q??'s you may have.
Melanie

crazylady55
Posts: 92
Joined: Mar 2009

I finish chemo Friday, have mastectomy(already had lumpectomy in Nov.08) scheduled for first week of April, begin radiation in May and plan on reconstruction after that. I am planning on the trans abdominal flap. Does anyone know where I can get more info about its failure rates ? I am getting sick of surgeries because I also had colon surgery a year ago (not cancer). Thanks

sally11
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi,Thanks for responding. My doctor expained to me that after radiation it is reccomended to have a Tram Flap. The rate of failure is less than 5%. I had radiation 6 years ago and when my cancer came back I had the Tram Flap reconstruction and it failed on the side I had radiation but the other side survived. I truley believe the radiation had something to do with it. My Dr.'s couldn't give me a 100% answer to why it failed. I'm tring to find out myself by asking on this discussion board if anyone else had this problem. Maybe we will get some responses. Good Luck in whatever decission you make. Sally

sally11
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi Melanie, Thanks for the response. I was wondering if you had radiation prior to having this procedure done. My concern is that the first flap failed and I believe the radiation was the cause. Also does the expander always take so long or you just didn't have the time to go through with the final steps? Good luck with the rest of your surgey. Sally

mmontero38's picture
mmontero38
Posts: 1523
Joined: Dec 2007

Sally did you have immediate reconstruction and then radiation, or did you have the reconstruction after the radiation? When I was interviewing plastic surgeons, mine explained that sometimes when you have radiation, the chance of rejection may increase slightly. I was fortunate in that I didn't need radiation since I was Stage 1 with no lymph node involvement. Hugs, Lili

sally11
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi, You mentioned you had the tram flap last Feb. How long did the swelling take to go down? Had my surgery on 12/12 and I'm still swollen around the abdomen and below armpits.Thanks, Sally

mmontero38's picture
mmontero38
Posts: 1523
Joined: Dec 2007

Sally, I was swollen for about 6 weeks. They removed the drains after 2 weeks and then was good to go. I went back to work 8 weeks after the surgery. I have had subsequent surgeries after to reconstruct the nipple, tattooing the areola, and fat grafting. The swelling after these procedures was minimal. Now, you mention you are still swollen, has the doctor given you an explanation as to what can cause this? Hugs, Lili

GreeneyedGirl's picture
GreeneyedGirl
Posts: 1003
Joined: Sep 2008

Sally, I did have radiation after a lumpectomy-2 years later the cancer returned same breast different area. So had a mastectomy with a tissue expander first to see if we could stretch the radiated muscle. It was not successful for me, so went with the lat flap and have had great success. I wanted to go least invasive first off, but needed the flap procedure to get the volume needed to match the other side.
Expander only took 2 mo to fill, Dr. likes to wait 6 mo between surgeries to heal up. Patience has been the lesson for me thru much of this.
M

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