TRAM Flap (Transverse Rectus Abdominus Myocutaneous Flap)
A TRAM flap is a rotational flap composed of skin, fat, muscle and the associated blood vessels that keep it alive that is transferred from the abdomen to the chest wall in order to reconstruct the breast. This technique does not require microsurgery. It can be completed in a 4-hour general anesthetic in the setting of a 5-day hospital stay with a focus on pain control and ambulation. TRAM flaps can be uncomfortable surgical procedures and your hospital stay will reflect your difficulty with pain management. Blood thinners are administered in order to prevent deep venous thromboses or pulmonary emboli.
TRAM flap breast reconstruction has been associated with weakness of the abdominal wall, abdominal wall buldging, hernias and back pain.
Nipple and areolar reconstructions are preformed as staged procedures (see below).
Dr. Marga prefers microsurgical breast reconstruction over rotational TRAM tissue flaps and would be pleased to discuss this with you further during your individualized consultation.