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Implants vs. Tram Flap reconstruction
jlamb26 posted:
Has anyone had tram flap reconstruction? Can you share your experieces with the recovery process? How long were you in the hospitaI and how long until you were back to "normal"? I have an infant and a 4 year old and I'm afraid that I won't be able to handle the recovery time as compared to the implant option. My surgeon said I am a candidate for both options. Any thoughts or suggestions are very much appreciated.
Thanks much,
judyfams responded:
I have not had either - but from my research it seems that with TRAM you have the breast scars and the abdominal scars that have to heal. Also, there can be permanent abdominal muscle weakness from the abdominal surgery. Similar to TRAM is the DIEPP flap which also entails abdominal surgery, but is considered an upgraded form of TRAM surgery. With TRAM either part (free flap TRAM) or all (pedicle TRAM) of the abdominal muscle is removed.
With DIEPP no abdominal muscle is used just the skin, fat and vessels so the recovery is quicker and less painful.
Check out the website:

Hopefully this will give you some more information to help you make a decision.
judyfams replied to judyfams's response:
After you go to the above link,
click on GO TO HOMEPAGE then type into the
SEARCH BOX - Breast Reconstruction after mastectomy,
click on TYPES OF BREAST RECONSTRUCTION and that will give you info about implants, TRAM and DIEPP flaps.
Good luck,
jlamb26 replied to judyfams's response:
Thanks for the great info!
kiwiallright responded:

I had the DIEP Flap procedure, it is smiliar to the trams flap,but they do not take sny stomach muscle/ Recovery is a lot faster, I am abt 8 months out from it and still have some problems sitting up when lyimg down,but it is getting better.

My Dr kept me in ICU overnight, and two nights on the ward/ You do have the scars but if the surgeon is good, my abodmen scare looks good, my breasts have breast skin and skin from my stomach. i do have a scare from the skin transplant, todate no nipples, do not want any.

My recovery was good, the first week I was not allowed to stand up straight, that was a killer, but you hace a stroller so you can push your children around the neighbourhood, as walking is very important. My grandchildren were no where to be found so I had weigh the stoller down with a rock. I do have a jogging stroller - its height helped.

I was not able to pick up my grandchildren, but could hold them for a few minutes at a time. I think by about a month out I could and cuddle with them picking them up took longer. I would say that I had a good recovery, I am associtated with a person who had the Trams Flap and she had the surgery abt 15 years ago and has said that she is having trouble sitting up. It took me about five months to recline all the way back in my hairdressers chair without having to put my feet on the chair.

Good luck with your decision, also take a look through some of the posts, I have read some where the ladies are having problems with the expanders and implants
Take care.

I could not have an inplant on my right side as I did not have enough skin, that is why I went with the DIEP Flap - plus the tummy tuck is a good extra.
judyfams replied to kiwiallright's response:
You might want to check out the website of a doctor that uses fat transfer to reconstruct the breast(s) after mastectomy.
There is no surgery, no scars and his website shows before and after pictures. He is located in Miami FL, but has trained other surgeons and from what I read you can email him to find a surgeon in your area that does that procedure. This procedure is known as micro fat grafting, but he uses a device and does it differently than it has been done in the past. He injects the fat in droplets all over, rather than in blobs - which caused problems in the past.
Check it out.

brcansur replied to judyfams's response:
I wish I had known about the The micro fat grafting before I did the reconstrution. I have had so much trouble ever since I started and god knows we can all use moving some of our fat from unwanted areas to the breast area. Just the thought of no surgery is enough to make me want to check it out. But to late for me unless this last try with this new implant doesn't work my body just doesn't seam to like them. If it doesn't work I told my ps I am done with them take them both out and make me falt. I will check into this fat tranfer thing for sure. Thank you so much for all your information you are alway giving us it helps a lot. Have agreat day and angel hugs to you Roberta
paflutie responded:
I had bilateral mastectomies with TRAM flap reconstruction in 9/99 - you can read about my terrible experience here:
sam1985 responded:
Breast reconstruction with flap surgery is the most complex breast reconstructive option. Your surgeon transfers a section of skin, muscle, fat and blood vessels from one part of your body to your chest to create a new breast mound. In some cases, the skin and tissue need to be augmented with a breast implant to achieve the desired breast size.

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