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What are the pros for a TRAM flap over implants? I'm having a hard time deciding.

Lisa Walker Profile
Asked by

anonymous

Learning About Breast Cancer over 8 years
 
  • Yalonde Martin Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I had my BMX 9/26/11 with tissue expanders. I am scheduled to have a muscle sparing TRAM flap at the beginning of the new year! What I would say is do your homework and ask a lot of questions. The choice is really personal preference. I myself did not want implants because I did not want a foreign object in me, I wanted to used my own tissue (you won't reject your own tissue) and I wanted to look natural. I wanted the DIEP flap but was not a candidate. There are a lot of options so don't settle for just these two! The other thing I would say is make sure you have an excellent plastic surgeon with experience if you choose a flap procedure. This will make a difference between awesome, great, good, ok, fair or terrible outcomes. Hope this helps.
    over 8 years Flag
    • Lisa Walker Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thanks very much

      over 8 years Flag
    • Brenda Crooks Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I had double mastectomy in 10/11 & am 4 weeks post-op. The plan was Diep flap for both breasts but not enough blood flow for both so I have Tram & Diep. My boobs look pretty good. The recovery is difficult. My healing is great but am still in a...

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      I had double mastectomy in 10/11 & am 4 weeks post-op. The plan was Diep flap for both breasts but not enough blood flow for both so I have Tram & Diep. My boobs look pretty good. The recovery is difficult. My healing is great but am still in a good deal of pain. I wanted boobs but didn't like the idea of implant. I want to heal & be done. My cancer was early stage 1 & in only one breast but had atypical cells in other. I am glad I took both breasts so no further cancer options. Would I recommend Diep/tram? Yes but know the recovery is long and painful

      over 8 years Flag
    • Lisa Walker Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Very helpful

      over 8 years Flag
  • Kathy Smith Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 1990
    I had a tram flap 4 1/2 years ago, at age 46. It was not an easy process and they recovery was almost 2 months, as some of my tubes would not quit draining. I am happy that I did it after 16 years of wearing a prosthesis. I did not have radiation, so my skin was not damaged, and they transferred skin from my lower abdomen and had great results with the transfer. I do have some abdominal tightness lately and wonder if it is not from the muscles/tissue being pushed around. Good luck with your decision. I would do it again, but it was a tough 2 months. Hope this was helpful.
    over 8 years Flag
    • Lisa Walker Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thank you

      over 8 years Flag
  • Jen Bee Profile
    anonymous
    Stage 2A Patient
    I was diagnosed with DCIS in July. I opted for a bilateral mastectomy for peace of mind. I was debating between the tram flap and expanders. It was a hard decision. I wasn't sure if I'd be comfortable with the expanders, I wanted to be done in one surgery, I wanted it to feel more natural. But, if I had the tram, I'd have to settle on a smaller cup size so I decided to go with the expanders. In the end, they found invasive cancer that was not seen on my mammogram so now I am going through chemo. I am so happy that I chose the expanders because I know the TRAM surgery and recovery is really difficult. I'm happy with my breasts already and I haven't had the exchange surgery yet. Good luck with your decision. My advice would be to really find some quiet time for you to think about your options and your decision will become clearer to you.
    over 8 years Flag
    • Lisa Walker Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Quiet time is the hard part. No one will leave me alone. I think they think if I am alone I will kill myself. Thanks for sharing your experience

      over 8 years Flag
    • Jen Bee Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2A Patient

      Well, I hope they are wrong about that! You must insist on some quiet time and if you are really feeling down, talk to your doctor. It's completely normal to have sad feelings about this and you need to do whatever it takes to get through your...

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      Well, I hope they are wrong about that! You must insist on some quiet time and if you are really feeling down, talk to your doctor. It's completely normal to have sad feelings about this and you need to do whatever it takes to get through your surgery and have a positive state of mind as you do. I wish you the best!

      over 8 years Flag
  • Nancy Collins Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2002
    If you had radiation, expanders and implants won't work. The tissue will not stretch as I found out the hard way and 3 extra surgeries later. Now they won't do expanders/implants here if you've had radiation. There is a much longer recovery period for the tram flap and risk of tissue dying, infections etc. I wasn't willing to give up 3-4 months more of my life due to breast cancer to have boobs (I opted for a double mastectomy since I was Stage III with more then half my lymph nodes positive at 43).
    over 8 years Flag
    • Lisa Walker Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Great info. Thanks

      over 8 years Flag
  • Nannette Dominguez Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I had tram flap surgery and I'm very happy with the results though it hasn't been easy recovery for me the actual recovery length was to long had lots of complications and to this day I m still in much discomfort.
    almost 8 years Comment Flag

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