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tram flap
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tram flap

This discussion is related to Recovery from an TRAM Flap.


what is the expected recovery time after a tram flap reconstruction
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326352_tn?1310997895
My tram was performed May 07.  I was out of the hospital in 4 days, but then again, my surgery was textbook pretty.  I kissed my plastic surgeon goodbye this past Nov/Dec.

If all goes well, 6-8 weeks from surgery to be able to lift things heavier than 5 pounds.  If they don't do the nipple during surgery, after the 8 weeks, it'll be 4-6 weeks for nipple recovery enough to tattoo the areola, the 4 more weeks for that heal.  That's the only "pain" after the intial healing.  The "pain" is just waiting for the area to heal so that you can finish the reconstruction and get back to not having to see yet another doctor.

I'm now 9 months out and am back to normal.  I was able to do some strength training about 4-5 months post-op to recover some muscle tone.  I still cannot do a sit-up or a leg lift without assistance (or cheating).  But that should return in time, according to my doc.  

Any other questions?  I'll be glad to share.  I had a good experience, my mom's tram failed back in 98.  Unusual, but I can say I've been in both situations.  Hope yours goes textbook pretty!
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Avatar_n_tn
Caroline,
I am so happy that your surgery was such a wonderful success, give me hope for successful correction someday to my own.
Would you please share your mothers story with me, I have also had a recent (July07) tram failure with 6 months recovery from open wounds and a hernia. I have been unable to return to work as of yet.   I am interested to hear if anyone else suffered with the same problems and if so how did she manage.
Thanks
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326352_tn?1310997895
Not sure how these posts are getting connected, but here's my response to your original post:

To: izablu
Yes, what happened to you is rare.  My mom's tram failed totally back in 1998.  She had the tram removed almost immediately and a section of her abdomen never healed requring a portion of the skin from her thigh to be used to cover the area.  It took her nearly 2 years before things were mostly normal.  She had an expander put in for an implant and the intial implant leaked.  (How unlucky is that?)  

Her breast looks fairly good, all things considered.  She never went to have the nipple put on, though.  

Her stomach doesn't look so good.  It is rather lumpy with indentions to this day.  But she never went back to see if they could do anything more with it.  Once they got her to a point, she decided enough was enough.

I was scared to death to have my tram done because of her experience.  I was lucky and had a textbook surgery and recovery.

I understand your nervousness.  It is very worrisome that the same issues will continue to haunt you.  However, they can do some things to help repair the situation.  It may not be the optimal ending you were hoping for, but underneath clothing it's hard to tell anyway.

You need to go talk with the docs and find out what your options are.  The hernia needs to be repair, at the least.  They can probably do something with the breast to recreate another one that will be ok under clothing.  The scarring will lighten up as time goes on, so that's really not that much of an issue.  Even my mom's scarring is very neglible for all the surgeries that she had to have.  I think she had 7 surgeries after the failed tram.  Her doc was ultra conserative with the reparations.  Plus, she had some continual necrosis going on.

I say all that to tell you that you can get put back together.  You will look normal in clothing.  The scars heal.  You may be left with a few places that are less than pretty without clothing, but that shouldn't be something to stop you from living the rest of your life well.

Best of luck to you!
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Avatar_n_tn
  Am 4 weeks post tram flap reconstruction. Five days ago, I woke up with stiffening of abdomen and engorgement of both breasts. My plastic surgeon was on vacation but answered my ccall and thought perhaps a seroma was the problem. Spent 6 hours in ER waiting for on-call resident to evaluate. Blood work was negative for infection so I was advised to go home and wait for seroma to be absorbed since resident felt it was risky to drain seroma. Saw plastic surgeon who did procedure  said what I was experiencing was natural part of healing and my surgery looked very good. Up until this episode of swelling and engorgement, I felt almost normal.couldn't move too fast, but had little to no discomfort. Has anyone else experienced this with recovery?
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