Appointments Referring Phsyicians
The Ohio State University Plastic Surgery
915 Olentangy River Road, Suite 2140
Columbus, OH 43212
Ph: 614.259.7920
Fax: 614.293.9024

TRAM Flap

TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction is often considered the “standard” in breast reconstruction techniques. This innovative procedure can restore the breasts after mastectomy by using donor skin from the midsection to create a new breast mound. The technique can make it possible for the breasts to look remarkably natural. The plastic and reconstructive surgeons at the Ohio State University Department of Plastic Surgery are some of the most skilled and experienced in the field, and many have been specialty-trained in breast reconstruction at some of the top medical facilities in the U.S. Our surgeons can help you restore what you have lost after mastectomy or injury, recreating your breasts with results that look natural and beautiful.

Please contact us today for more information on TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction at our Columbus, Ohio practice.

TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction Candidates

Though virtually all patients who are undergoing or have already undergone a mastectomy are candidates for breast reconstruction, certain techniques may not be viable in some patients. However, TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction is one of the most common types of breast reconstruction and many women are candidates for this procedure.

Candidates for TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction include patients who have lost a breast to mastectomy or injury and those who have enough healthy skin in the abdominal region to provide donor skin for the creation of the new breast. Other criteria are involved in the selection of TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction candidates, including risk factors brought on by other health problems you may have, your unique needs and expectations, and the potential for complications. If TRAM Flap reconstruction is not the best option for you, our surgeon can recommend a number of alternatives that can help you meet your goals.

TRAM Flap Techniques

TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction can be performed as an immediate reconstruction – directly after the breast has been removed during mastectomy – or as a delayed reconstruction. A delayed breast reconstruction is performed after recovery from mastectomy is complete, and often leads to a quicker breast reconstruction recovery because the wound from the previous procedure has already healed.

There are two types of TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction techniques, each with its own set of benefits. They are:

Free Flap

The free flap technique utilizes microsurgery, a procedure in which your OSU reconstructive surgeon will connect small blood vessels using a microscope. This technique involves removal of fat, skin, and part of the muscle from the abdomen. Blood vessels will also be taken from this area and connected to vessels in the chest. This allows the creation of a healthy new blood supply in the new breast. The donor tissue, fat, and muscle is molded into a new breast mound. This procedure may also result in the added benefit of a flatter abdomen, in some ways similar to the results of a tummy tuck surgery.

Pedicle Flap

Pedicle flap reconstruction recreates the breast using donor tissue and part of the muscle from the abdominal region. A portion of the abdominal muscle is “tunneled” through the upper abdomen into the chest, allowing blood vessels to remain intact and keeping blood pumping into the new breast. The tissue is shaped and contoured to provide a new breast that looks natural. This technique is often performed more quickly than free flap reconstruction, which requires microsurgery. Pedicle flap reconstruction can also result in a flatter-looking abdomen, in essence providing two aesthetic procedures in one.

A TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction procedure can take from one to five hours or more to complete, depending on the time you have the surgery, the extent of the procedure, and your unique needs and goals. You will likely spend at least three nights in the hospital after a TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction.

TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction Recovery

TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction surgery is a major procedure and several weeks of recovery is necessary in order to allow the new breast to completely heal. Reconstruction of the nipples can be performed once the breast reconstruction recovery process is complete. There will be some scarring in the area of the breasts and in the midsection where the donor skin has been removed, but our surgeons will make every effort to make residual scarring as light as possible.

Schedule a TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction Consultation

Our reconstructive surgeons here at the OSU Department of Plastic Surgery will be happy to meet with you to discuss all aspects of TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction. We offer comprehensive, compassionate care, and we understand our patients’ need to rebuild the breasts and take this next step in the recovery process. Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation for TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction here in Columbus, Ohio.