72K members
1.2M posts
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

14 REPLIES 14
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

Hi, I know what you mean about it being a BIG decision. I took a year to decide between using muscle from my back or the free TRAM FLAP. I decided to go with the tram as my PS gave me a DVD of local women who had had all different kinds of recon and showed the results off. Sometimes, when the musclle is used from the back there is a dent which can be seen under t-shirts and so after asking the PS which op gives the best result i had TRAM FLAP 4th March 2013.
I agree with the other ladies who say the stay in hospital is hard work for you, the medical team and your family.
I had a CT scan which showed the blood vessels were small and so the PS confirmed he would take some muscle and insert a plastic mesh and just before the op the PS used an ultra sound scanner to check the blood supply going through my abdomin. Mine was not very strong and so he asked for my consent - if there was a problem in theatre could he use a vein in my arm. I consented to it. There was a problem with the blood flow and so he tried to use the vein in arm. It wasn't there! He thinks the radiotherapy killed it off or i was born without it.
The day after the op they did not hold out much hope of the flap surviving. They used leeches that encouraged the blood flow. The flap was saved and I left hospital on the ninth day. The healing process is still continuing due to the radiotherapy changing the cell structure on my chest. DO I REGRET IT? No , anything is better than a flat chest at one side. I will need further surgery before i have two matching breasts and the best shape possible, but i knew this before going ahead with the op.
Be strong and i'm sure your whole family will support you.
Good luck.
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

Hi,
Just thought I'd let you hear my thoughts on tram flap following surgery in 2009. The operation itself was huge and I was in high dependency for 3 days afterwards but slowly got better. My reconstructed breast is wonderful. Not having to wear the prosthesis and feeling "normal", wearing clothes and swimming costume etc is a wonderful feeling. I did feel guilty putting my husband and 5 year old daughter through more trauma, however, after the first 4 weeks things began to feel better again in terms of recovery and my state of mind was much better than before the surgery. The problems since however, have left me in a bit of a mess. I developed a buldge just below my scar almost straight away and I do get a lot of pain from it and down into my groin area. I now also have a large bulge underneath my new breast and have just been told that the breast wall has collapsed. The only way it can be repaired is to suture it to my ribs, which may cause additional pain. I'm waiting for a scan now but I have not heard of this before so it could be quite rare. I often ask myself, given all the complications, could I be without my new breast and I honestly don't think I could. My advise would be to ask about the risks in detail and ask about all of your available options as I wasn't given any others. I wish you well for the future.
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

Hi,
Just thought I'd let you hear my thoughts on tram flap following surgery in 2009. The operation itself was huge and I was in high dependency for 3 days afterwards but slowly got better. My reconstructed breast is wonderful. Not having to wear the prosthesis and feeling "normal", wearing clothes and swimming costume etc is a wonderful feeling. I did feel guilty putting my husband and 5 year old daughter through more trauma, however, after the first 4 weeks things began to feel better again in terms of recovery and my state of mind was much better than before the surgery. The problems since however, have left me in a bit of a mess. I developed a buldge just below my scar almost straight away and I do get a lot of pain from it and down into my groin area. I now also have a large bulge underneath my new breast and have just been told that the breast wall has collapsed. The only way it can be repaired is to suture it to my ribs, which may cause additional pain. I'm waiting for a scan now but I have not heard of this before so it could be quite rare. I often ask myself, given all the complications, could I be without my new breast and I honestly don't think I could. My advise would be to ask about the risks in detail and ask about all of your available options as I wasn't given any others. I wish you well for the future.
kketchup
Member

Re: TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

Hi, thanku for sharing your experiences.....im torn between desperately wanting to be able to wear normal clothes, verses ending up with more physical stuff to cope with....its so hard.. xx

preston_girl
Member

Re: TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

Hi Kketchup.
I had delayed tram flap recon 12 months ago. I am very happy with the shape and size of my new boob.
What I am not happy is I've been left with a huge tummy bulge and have to wear support knickers 24/7 or I can feel my bulge getting bigger and can be quite painful by the end of the day. The bulge is very hard to touch and I look six months pregnant if I don't wear the tummy control.
My scar is much higher than my bikini line and I have a big dog ear on one side.
I am 44 now and if I had to choose a recon again knowing now what I know I would not opt for a tram flap.
I also had a mastectomy and ld flap to my healthy side at same time as tram flap and this didn't heal and got infected and had to be cut away. I am now waiting to have a tissue expander on that side and a tummy bulge repair on my tram side.
I'm not overweight size12/14, have never smoked and was told its very rare for this to happen.
I don't want to put you off having the tram flap but thought I'd share my experience with you.
I couldn't drive for 7 weeks after my operation because of the complications I had but felt ok in myself
Chris x
samos
Member

Re: TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

The reason I asked whether you had considered a DIEP is that DIEP is the current Gold Standard Recon option because it does not take muscle (hernia risk) like a TRAM does - although if during the op the blood vessels are a bit 'iffy', then yes, some muscle may be taken.
I am 7 months post my double mx with immediate DIEP recon, and I can highly recommend the procedure. These ops are big, but the real benefit is that not only do you get the most realistic boobs possible, but they are a one op procedure - tinkering and nipples aside - whereas implants need replacing every ten or so years...
Sue

saffronseed
Member

Re: TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

They had to take muscle from me as my veins were poor and they put in 'mesh' which is inserted inside your tummy (your can't feel it) but it strenghens the area and avoids you getting a hernia. I go to the gym and do exercise (not heavy lifting) but I do normal stuff and have had no problems. Yes I agree with weight thing its best to get down to a weight you can keep to rather than huge diet - I lost a stone prior to my surgery and feel so much better for it. Not sure if surgery will affect your lymhedema its worth asking your PS but I was told that as they did not operate on my underarm area then there was no increased risk for me. I wore a prothesis for about 18 months and I know some ladies can live with it and its fine - but I am bigger busted (D) and my prothesis was huge and quite heavy and in summer uncomfortable. My new breast is fantastic as its part of me and whilst I am still recovering from my mastoplaxy (uplift) and not quite finished I am still really delighted with the result and its certainly worth it. x

kketchup
Member

Re: TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

Oh wow, thankyou so much ladies, I feel more positive already....I saw the plastic surgeon 2 days ago and he recommended a TRAM for me....I think my main worry is having muscle removed from my tummy and therefore being forever weakened. I need to lose some weight too, so hopefully the waiting list will give me time to do that. My plastic surgeon said that if i wanted to lose some weight then i should concentrate on getting to a weight that i am happy with and can maintain (I tend to yoyo).I also have some lymphoedema in my arm/hand which i am worried may be made worse by the surgery. I am encouraged by your positive experiences. I really dont like wearing a prothesis as I am very limited as to what I wear, and also I look like a freak without any clothes on! Im only 41 and have been one-breasted for 2 years now!! xxx

Everton_babe
Member

Re: TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

Hallo there
I can only give you my very positive comments. I had TRAM in July 2011 after my MX in Oct 2009. My very experienced plastic surgeon reckoned it is the 'Gold standard' of recons so I was happy to go along with him. I had plenty stomach, so no problem donating some. He was clear that I should not be a smoker, have diabetes or have previous stomach surgery, so I was put on waiting list. I was overweight, but he was unconcerned about this, although I did work hard swimming and going to a gym to help my core strength. This seems to have worked as I came through the op very well and had minimum hospital time.
I can honestly say I have never regretted my decision. I understand your concerns given your girls. But they dont need the same 'care' as wee ones would so that would be a worry off your shoulders. Yes, you'll need to have a bit of support once you get home to allow you to recover well.
It is important to know it is a big op-I was nearly 11 hrs under anaesthetic and you will have a hip-to-hip scar in the bikini area. They keep you VERY warm in the first few days to aid blood flow to the new breast, but I think thats a small price to pay for such a big step in your recover from this shi**y disease.
As saffronseed says, the BCC peer support service was a great source of info as they seem to match you well with someone in a similar situation (eg family, age etc)
I have buddied a girl locally who had same op a few weeks ago and it is really helpful to chat over some of the more minor things, such as what undies to wear after op and that sometimes you have a wee bit of interesting hair replanted in your new boob!!Which caught me out I can tell you!!!!
Anyway, I really hope you get to make a decision which best suits YOU.
Cathie xx
Only negative-LONG waiting lists

Petal5
Member

Re: TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

Hi.
I had a delayed diep not a tram recon in 2011 and uplift to other side and nipple in 2012. I have no regrets about the whole procedure. I hated being flat and wearing a prosthesis and though a long op I made a good quick recovery with no complications leaving hospital after a week and looking after myself without help. I was back driving after three and a half weeks and doing pilates and looking after grandchildren after six weeks.
I love my new look from the recon to the flat tummy. It has enabled me to wear whatever I want and I am so grateful for the skill of the plastic surgeons who can do this intricate surgery.
Good luck. x

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

Hi
I had an immediate tram reconstruction in Feb 12 so a little different to you as yours is delayed. I am very pleased with the outcome, it matches the other breast perfectly and I had a new nipple in Dec which is looking good. The operation was longer than usual (12hrs) and I felt rough afterwards mainly because I'm not very good with anaesthetics, but its amazing how quickly you recover. I was in hospital for 4 nights and was easily able to walk slowly around the house once I got home My biggest problem was waking up in the night because I was uncomfortable, I only managed 1 1/2 hour sessions at a time before having to get up, this lasted for the first few weeks, I was much more comfortable during the day. I have also developed an abdominal hernia due to the op (this is unusual) and as yet hasn't caused me any problems it just looks unsightly, but my recon looks great!
Good luck with your decision.
Lemoncake
x
Cheryl17
Member

Re: TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

Sorry cant help with tram reconstruction, but if you consider LD back flap let me know I am 3weeks post op and doing really well. Xxx
saffronseed
Member

Re: TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

Hi I had a diep/tram (took a little muscle) in Nov 2012 - best decision I ever made and am thrilled with results. Just had my other breast uplifted to match and awaiting nipple so not completely finished yet but I am so glad I made the decision and went with it - its a big op though but worth it. The Peer support team on BCC can put you in touch with someone who has had this op and can talk you through it in more detail. good luck x

samos
Member

Re: TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

Sorry, can't help with the TRAM, but iI wondered whether you had thought of a DIEP?
Sue

kketchup
Member

TRAM recon ;need to hear both sides to decide whether to go ahead!!!!

Hi, I had a mastectomy 2 years ago, with chemo & rads...and am now thinking about having a tram reconstruction...but feeling rather terrified at the thought. Could anyone who has had this op give me some of their experiences; good and bad.....it would really help! I have 2 girls age 13 and 10 who have already been thru so much; its hard to know if the surgery will be worth it! thanks xx