TRAM or DIEP? Please help!

Hi everybody
This is the first time I have ever done anything like this so I hope it works!
6 weeks ago I was diagnosed with DCIS Stage 1. What a bombshell! I had been treated with Stage 2 breast cancer 17 years ago and been treated with a lumpectomy, radiotherapy, chemo and 5 years tamoxifen. I really thought I was a survivor and then the little blighters came back!
Anyhow I am now faced with quite a minor tumour but am facing radical surgery in as much although only 16 mm I am advised to have a mastectomy as the tumour is in the same breast. Being fairly large breasted I cannot face just a mastectomy so am contemplating reconstruction. I am advised not to have an implant as the tissue which has been zapped with radiotherapy won’t accept it. So my options are to have reconstruction using tissue from my abdomen either with a TRAM flap or DIEP. I should dearly like to hear from other women who have had this decision to make and to hear of their experiences of either operation. There is no rush but I really want to make the decision, get the op done and then get on with life.
Thanking you in anticipation

Dear lilymole,

Welcome to the forum.  While you are waiting for other members to come along and offer support I thought you might also be interested in our one to one support service. You could be put  in touch with a trained volunteer who has had the same procedure.  You can find out more about this service if you click on this link:

I hope this is helpful.

Very best wishes


BCC Moderator

Hi Lilymole


I had a MX and DIEP reconstruction in April 2012.  I opted for the DIEP for several reasons.  I didn’t want to have lots of surgery, the DIEP ‘ages’ with you (implants have to be replaced I was told) and I had sufficient (although the PS used the term ‘plenty’ lol) stomach fat for the procedure.  I too was diagnosed with DCIS and it was a huge decision to make.  I didn’t want the TRAM operation as I felt that would be a longer recovery due to the stomach muscles having to be cut.


I think I was very lucky.   Nothing really went wrong  for me and I was back at work, part time,  at the beginning of June :).  I even managed to go skiing in February of this year, so pretty much back to ‘normal’, albeit a new normal.  For me, the tummy part of the operation was the most  uncomfortable.  I am still stiff sometimes and I can’t stretch out fully anymore and most of the area below my belly button is numb.  I have begun to have feeling return in my reconstructed boob, although on some days it’s not a good sensation - quite sensative and not pleasant.


On the plus side, I can be thankful that the cancer hadn’t turned invasive and no further treatment was needed :slight_smile:


I hope this helps, but if you need any more information, just let me know.


Take care

Mandy x