Flap Reconstruction



Reconstruction of breast is a procedure that is done on some, after the removal of the breast. The removal of the breast is done due to breast cancer. Breast removal can be due to breast cancer detection or prevention from recurring of cancer.

Reconstruction of the breast makes use of the muscle from the lower abdomen. This muscle comes from the waist and pubic bone area. The procedure is called flap reconstruction or TRAM flap reconstruction where TRAM refers to Transverse Rectus Abdominis.

About the procedure

TRAM flap reconstruction is the most commonly performed for breast reconstruction as TRAM flap tissue is very much similar to breast tissue hence, making it a good alternative.

There are two methods of TRAM Flap reconstruction.

Free TRAM flap

  • cutting of the fat, skin, blood vessel and muscle are done from the wall of the lower belly
  • the breast is then reconstructed with this
  • after reconstructing the breast, the blood vessels of the flap is then reattached carefully to the blood vessels in the chest

Pedicled (or attached) TRAM flap

  • moving of the fat, blood vessels and muscle from the lower belly wall is done from under the skip to the chest area
  • the artery and vein of the flap are left attached to the original blood supply of the abdomen
  • this procedure is also known as muscle transfer

What to expect of the procedure?
Anesthesia and sedation will be applied for this procedure. Much like any other surgeries done, there will be some bruising, swelling and discomfort after the procedure which may last up to a month. Medication will be provided to control the situation.