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Tram Flap Procedure

Reikigemgirl's picture
Reikigemgirl
Posts: 278
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi everyone,

It has been a year since I had my masectomy so it's time to have my reconstruction surgery. I had my right breast removed.

I am wondering if anyone here has had the tram flap procedure? Where they use your own belly skin and fat to create your new breast? I am concerned about the recovery time and the pain level. Also, how were your results?

Thanks in advance.
Vicki

Barb A's picture
Barb A
Posts: 101
Joined: Jun 2009

Hi Vicki, I had the tram flap procedure 10 years ago at the same time as my mastectomy. For me, the pain level was tolerable with pain meds the first several days. Then I went with Tylenol. As with any surgery, the first few days are the worst and it gets better as long as you do what the doctors tell you to. Mainly - no lifting. I lifted a laundry basket and went half way up the stairs with it. Couldn't make it the rest of the way.

I was off work for six weeks, but once I got the drains out after a week (or was it 10 days?) I was already feeling better.

I'm sure you can handle this! You've already dealt with the mastectomy and cancer, you can do this too! Let us know when your surgery is and I and all the others on this board will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

Barb A

pinkkari09's picture
pinkkari09
Posts: 878
Joined: Sep 2009

Hello Vicki, I didn't have the tram flap, I had the latissimus flap (from my back). They say the pain and recovery is more with the latissimus flap than the tram flap, but I was really surprised at how well it went. I had mine done at the same time as my bilateral mastectomy, I was worried how I would sleep with my back and front being cut into but surprisingly I slept pretty well. My recommendation, stay on top of the pain, use your pain meds, don't let it get out of control. I wish you all the best and I know there are plenty of women on here who will pipe in that have had the tram flap.
Hugz,
~Kari

helen e's picture
helen e
Posts: 223
Joined: Sep 2009

The pain was nowhere near what I thought it would be. I expected to be in a lot of pain but I wasn't - and believe me when I say I am a whimp, so I expected pain!! I had a skin sparing masectomy and immediate reconstruction and the results were amazing to me. I finally had my areola(?) tattooed 2 months ago - the final procedure and my breast looks like a perfectly normal breast. I wish my other one looked so good! Oh well. Hope this helps. If you'd like more info just let me know.

Helen

seof
Posts: 826
Joined: Jun 2007

I got a good book from the ACS online bookstore, "The breast reconstruction guidebook". It gives good information about the different types of reconstruction and comparisons. I had double mastectomy with bilateral DIEP reconstruction. Tram flap is not recommended bilaterally, but you are only wanting unilateral. I was off work several weeks, but was OK. I had some rare complications too. I expect you will be fine. As far as pain and what I could/couldn't do during recovery, It was really not much worse than the mastectomy. I used a "bed-chair"....cushion with arms to help me half-way sit up in bed because it was hard to get up from a prone position for a while. You might consider sleeping with a lot of pillows.

Take care seof

seof
Posts: 826
Joined: Jun 2007

I got a good book from the ACS online bookstore, "The breast reconstruction guidebook". It gives good information about the different types of reconstruction and comparisons. I had double mastectomy with bilateral DIEP reconstruction. Tram flap is not recommended bilaterally, but you are only wanting unilateral. I was off work several weeks, but was OK. I had some rare complications too. I expect you will be fine. As far as pain and what I could/couldn't do during recovery, It was really not much worse than the mastectomy. I used a "bed-chair"....cushion with arms to help me half-way sit up in bed because it was hard to get up from a prone position for a while. You might consider sleeping with a lot of pillows.

Take care seof

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