bilateral reconstruction

seof Member Posts: 819 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1

I am still seeking info about bilateral reconstruction using your own tissue vs. implants. See my posting on 1/15 below for further information. Does anyone have a suggestion for where to go for info?

Thanks, seof


  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
    Hi Seof:
    I think if you google tram flap, diep flap, you will get info on these 2 procedures. Also, your dr could explain exactly what the methods and risks are. I opted for the tram flap and am going in on Feb 4th for this procedure. Terryoconnor has had the diep flap and now is doing the lassitimus dorsi flap on the other breast. You might want to email her for details. My friend Ronnie is going in on Tuesday for a double tram since she is having a bilateral mastectomy done with reconstruction the same day. She doesn't have small or young children anymore so she is not worried too much about her torso and lower back losing support. Hope I've helped. Lili
  • manna1qd
    manna1qd Member Posts: 46
    I post mastectomy reconstruction and all I know is that they would not be able to do a later reconstruction using tram flap. My abdomen was weak and numb but not so noticable to me. I am not very athletic but even doing sit ups or sitting up in bed etc., wasn't really different. Is the doctor prepared to do it if you want it or did he/she say no and you are looking for someone who will? I wonder if it just is not done because of the lack of abdomenal muscle leaves one too vulnerable.
  • phoenixrising
    phoenixrising Member Posts: 1,508
    Hi Seof, I accidently posted some info for you on your 1/15 posting. Hope it helps.
  • 3cbrca
    3cbrca Member Posts: 206
    Hi Seof

    I only know one person who had the TRAM. I was so set to do the Tram flap and really excited about the "tummy tuck" that comes with it and heard from so many people about the loss of abdominal strength that I decided against it. Have you discussed the latisimus dorsi flap? The last plastics I saw said that was the only surgery she would perform on me. From her perspective she said that the amount of radiation increased the risks for complications/failure with the plain old implant and she would never have the TRAM flap herself because of the abd muscle problem, so she decided not to learn it.
    I'm guessing because we're in the same boat with the nodes that you had the same amount of radiation I did... I had 5 fields radiated and 6 "blasts" at each visit for 7 weeks.

    One other thing - my friend had Stage 1 about 10 years ago and had the LAT flap. Last fall she had DCIS in the right and had the TRAM - she hasn't really decided which is better, but she is not yet sold on the TRAM flap. She's ready to get her "decorations" on the new TRAM side and is going to have the saline on the left replaced with the silicone. The following site is pretty informative:

    Also it references a book that you can buy that explains a lot.
    What city do you live in. My breast surgeon has spent so much time with me explaining how they all work and being very honest about feedback from his patients. He said that people that are as active as I am (and I consider myself a bit lazy) were miserable after the TRAM. Have you asked your surgeon or oncologist what they have heard.

    Hope this helps
  • cabbott
    cabbott Member Posts: 1,039 Member
    Go to
    for a discussion on various options.

    Go to
    for tram flap pictures and a comparison with implants.

    I like Johns Hopkins Artemis site for discussion of many breast cancer issues. Lily Shockney, nurse, has had breast cancer and reconstruction. She hosts a blog, reviews the latest research, and answers a lot of questions on reconstruction among other issues.

    There are now DIEP flaps, SIEP flaps, and others that take less muscle tissue. Most of the ones that take less muscle demand more surgical skill. You would want the surgeon who does the most to do yours. Don't be someone's initial try at this! Ask for numbers. Talk to former patients. Ask to see pictures. Ask what they recommend based on YOUR medical condition. Good luck!
  • survivor51
    survivor51 Member Posts: 276
    They used the muscle from my back and I am very pleased. The surgery using my tummy was too long since I have a history of blood clots. I was very pleased with the look. They are soft and look good. I did have to have it redone due to so much being taken out and nothing to hold the muscle but it is fine. Just research and pick a good plastic surgeon. I plan to have a tummy tuck and lipo with they make the nipples. Not much scaring on the breast and they look fab. Hubby states he is very pleased and the feel is quite real. I don't have feeling but he does..hehe Good luck seof. Angela