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Tram Flap Surgery

The "TRAM flap"? is the transverse rectus abdominus muscle located on the stomach area.  Tram flap surgery, often called free-flap surgery, is a type of breast reconstruction that relies on a harvesting of excess skin from the abdomen.  Effective breast reconstructions can occur along with the beneficial side effects of a decreased stomach size. 

Tram flap surgery is the most popular and successful breast reconstructive surgery for women in the US.  Candidates typically have had a mastectomy or other breast related malformation and can improve the shape, size, and firmness of their breasts with tram flap surgery.

Tram flap surgery is not recommended for women who are thin and do not have enough stomach tissue. Women that smoke cigarettes may be at risk for having thin and inflexible blood vessels. Other women who have undergone extensive surgery or have other medical conditions may not be able to undergo tram flap surgery either. Only a comprehensive medical discussion and check up with an experienced board-certified doctor can lead to successful and long lasting results.

Tram flap surgery works by moving a small amount of skin, fat, and muscle from the abdomen up to the breast area. The move is done surgically and through a small opening in the body and is quite unlike a transplant or other surgery that takes parts of skin off of the body and grafts it onto another. The tissue that has been moved is then molded into the shape of a natural breast. Blood vessels are reattached to the area so that it can grow and live like normal tissue.

The surgery results in a breast made out of the patient's own body, so that there is a diminished risk of bodily rejection and little problem in coloration problems. The breasts are shaped in similar forms to one another. Since they are made of actual living tissue rather than some artificial device, the breasts feel normal to the touch.

The results of tram flap surgery are the main reason why it is a popular surgery.  Breasts are effectively reconstructed and a tummy tuck is also performed, resulting in a slimmer appearance.  Some side effects do occur, however.  These include having a scar that usually does not go away running across the abdomen.  The belly button's physical appearance may be affected.  In both cases, additional plastic surgery can be performed to cosmetically fix the affected areas. 

Side effects that do not go away include a diminished sensitivity in the breasts. Also, a patient can only perform the surgery once.  Multiple tram flap surgeries can be performed at the same time, but not one after the other, for both breasts.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the benefits of tram flap surgery, contact an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon for a free consultation.  Only a doctor with years of tram flap surgery experience should be chosen to perform this delicate surgery.