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Recovery from an TRAM Flap
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Recovery from an TRAM Flap

I am nearly 4 weeks post simple mastectomy and a free abdominal tram flap for reconstruction.  I still have trouble standing up straight since the skin on my abdomen is so taut. I walk very slowly-still quite hunched over. I have very little energy in terms of walking but can do work while sitting down such as reading and writing.  I have started sleeping with less  pillows (2) under my head and one under my legs. I am 5'8" inches tall and weighed 150 lbs at the time of surgery so I did not have very much abdominal fat as donor and have a hip to hip incision.  I am still taking percoset 325 mg acetaminophen and 5 mg oxycodone q4h which relieves some of the tightness.  I tried just extra strength tylenol but it does not give relief.  My questions are how long does it take to walk normally, standing straight, and to regain some of my normal strength? How long do you think I will need to take percoset every 4 hrs?  Thank you for your insights.
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Dear NYU, Recovery after this type of procedure varies among individuals.  You should be seeing day to day improvement.  Have you tryed splinting your incision with a small pillow and try walking more upright you should be working on that more and more.  You'll probably have a follow-up to surgery appointment in the next couple of weeks (usually 4-6 weeks after surgery) to make sure you all is healing well.  I couldn't say how long you will need the percocet, that is individual, but you would notice using less or even skipping doses.  Energy levels take time to come back but there is the Catch-22 between resting and resting too much.  You'll have good days and bad days but the good days should start to get more prevalant over the next few weeks. It can take a long time (months) to feel back to "normal".  If you are finding the pain or other symptoms worsening check with your surgeon and discuss what you're feeling to make sure all is proceeding OK with your surgical recovery.
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I have read so many stories like this.  There are so many women who have trouble with the tramflap procedure.  Why aren't doctors telling women about the diepflap?  I know there's not very many docs doing them and you might have to travel to have it done as I did, but I was standing straigt, walking, and showering the next day.  I just feel women should have the option, it's their lives and their bodies.  I was also off pain meds in 2 days.  I moved slower but I think I was scared because I knew it was major surgery.
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A related discussion, tram flap was started.
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