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All TopicsForum: Breast Reconstruction → Topic: Tram Flap Surgery gone horribly wrong!!!!

Topic: Tram Flap Surgery gone horribly wrong!!!!

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Is it right for you? Discuss timing and various procedures and techniques.

Posted on: Aug 12, 2012 08:59PM, edited Aug 12, 2012 09:03PM by WorriedDaughters

WorriedDaughters wrote:

The start of this mess started back on June 19 when my 71 year old mother went in for surgery to remove her leaking implants that were put in 8 years after breast cancer. She was kept over night for observation and sent home the following day with 4 drains. A few days later the skin over the right implant split due to the radiation she had had and the doctor recommended that the implant be taken out ASAP and that her best remaining option was to perform a tram flap in which she would also get a tummy tuck out of it! When my mom told me of this plan I was VERY concerned and tried to talk her out of going forward with the procedure. My sister as well as her friends also advised her not to go through with it but she did. My concerns with her recovery have turned out to be WORSE than anything I had imagined. Important info to know: my mom is obese, has low blood pressure, is a Type II diabetic and overall not in good health. She would get short of breath just getting dressed! I realize I do not have medical license and neither does my sister nor do any of my moms friends yet we were smart enough to know this surgery was a VERY BAD IDEA!!

The surgery was performed on July 10th. The surgery took a grueling 8 hours. When the doctor came out to talk to me he repeated 3 separate times " I think she will be o.k.!" let me tell you that was so reassuring!!! My mom was on oxygen as well as many other meds. By the end of the week her stomach had opened and her breast area had also opened so in she went for surgery #3! She came out of that surgery with 2 open wounds packed with gauze and on a ventilator. She was heavily sedated and on a ventilator for 8 days during which time went back in for surgery #4 to place pig skin over the stomach lining to help prevent her insides from falling out until they figure out what to do with the open wound (which is such an understatement! I so wish I could post pictures her).

Once she was finally ready to come off the ventilator she was so drugged with morphine that she was not herself! The doctor said he could not understand why she was not healing. They put a wound vac on both the breast and the tummy which removed 4000 cc's of fluid in just one night!! She had several more debridements and her tummy wound is mor than double the original size with the sutures on the sides barely holding the skin together as the skin is not healing. If that opens the doctor says the open wound will more than double in size :(

We had her transferred to a long care acute hospital which specializes in wound care last week. We are hoping to get her away from the surgeon who put her in this mess. She no longer needs a plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic surgery but we need a surgeon who specializes in wounds. It was told to us that they will need to remove the entire breast flap as it is dead and dead is dead!! This is so scary and maddening because this DID NOT have to happen!!!

I pray she can survive this! Her surgeon that created this mess is now putting ALL the blame on my mom because she has poor nutrition and diabetes!! ARE YOU FRICKEN KIDDING ME...SHE HAD POOR NUTRITION AND DIABETES BEFORE HE PREFORMED THE F%#€ing SURGERY! Anyone who has eyes could tell you her nutrition was bad as she is obese!!!

Her new doctor said she could remain in the hospital for 6-10 months. This surgeon who put her in this mess has ruined her life as she knew it as well as mine!

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Aug 12, 2012 09:34PM HLB wrote:

That is just awful. The only thing I can suggest is that vitamin c and zinc is helpful with healing. I smoked when I had surg and the surgeon told me to tale 2000 vit c and 224 zinc, which sounds like a lot but its not (said the surgeon). If they're doing that I don't think it could hurt. So sorry.

Dx 10/2004, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 2/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 7/23/2012, IDC, Stage IVSurgery 10/30/2004 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Surgery 11/30/2004 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Left); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Chemotherapy 01/02/2005 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, TaxolSurgery 09/15/2005 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Hormonal Therapy 07/23/2012 Femara
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Aug 12, 2012 09:50PM nurseronda10 wrote:

I am so sorry this has happened to your mother.  I have done legal nurse consulting in the past and this surgery should never have been done on your mother with her history of diabetes and especially at the age of 71.  All that doctor was looking at were $$$$$.  You should see an attorney ASAP.  Your mother has endured a lot of pain and suffering and still has a very long road of recovery in front of her.  This plastic surgeon should lose his license.  Please, please get an attorney and sue his a#@.

Dx 8/25/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/8 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+Surgery 09/13/2010 Mastectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Chemotherapy 10/27/2010 carboplatin, TaxotereTargeted Therapy 10/27/2010 HerceptinHormonal Therapy 04/15/2011 ArimidexSurgery 03/07/2012 Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement, Latissimus Dorsi flap (Left)Surgery 03/07/2012 Prophylactic Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Right)Surgery 06/13/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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Aug 12, 2012 11:39PM melmcbee wrote:

im so sorry. this is terrible. Ask her new doctors about hyperbaric treatments for wound healing. It may be an option. I pray she heals quickly.

Melanie. mentor smooth round high profile gel 700 rt 550 lt with fat grafting 5/30/2013

Dx 6/24/2012, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 2, 8/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 07/09/2012 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Surgery 08/09/2012 Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Chemotherapy 08/23/2012 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, TaxotereRadiation Therapy 01/09/2013 ExternalHormonal Therapy 04/04/2013 ArimidexSurgery 05/30/2013 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 12/04/2013 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Right)
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Aug 13, 2012 02:14AM Galsal wrote:

I echo the sentiments of nurseronda10!  There's NO way they did not know about her conditions before proceeding.  For shame on that surgeon!  He needs to be taken to task for his unethical behavior.

Dx 12/14/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 02/10/2012 Mastectomy (Left); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Right)Hormonal Therapy 03/10/2012 TamoxifenSurgery 07/09/2012 Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)Hormonal Therapy 10/06/2012 ArimidexHormonal Therapy 12/13/2012 FemaraHormonal Therapy 04/16/2013 AromasinSurgery 07/15/2013 Reconstruction (Both)Surgery 08/16/2013 Reconstruction (Right)Surgery 02/13/2014 Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)
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Aug 13, 2012 06:26AM momof3boys wrote:

What a nightmare! I'm so sorry that your mom, and you and your sister are going through this. This sounds almost criminal to me! I'd definitely call an attorney. Prayers for all of you.

BMX w TE reconstruction 11/11/11, 4 TC, 3/12, 25 Rads 5/12 Tamoxifin 6/12, Prophalactic hysterectomy 12/18/12, Oncotype 16

Dx 10/14/2011, ILC, 4cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 13, 2012 07:15AM blainejennifer wrote:

My Mom also had a surgical wound that went south like that. Months of hyperbaric treatment and a wound vac finally healed her wound. She was 70, obese, and diabetic. It was a mess. Her's wasn't an elective procedure.

In your Mom's case, there is NO WAY a surgeon should have agreed to a Tram Flap. What was he thinking? Maybe you should talk to a personal injury lawyer, as your Mom has suffered real damages because of surgical greed.

ER/PR+, HER2- March 2012: Stage 4, bone lesions. July 2013, Faslodex Monthly

Dx 5/2006, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 4/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 3/2012, IDC, Stage IV, 4/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Chemotherapy 06/28/2012 TaxolHormonal Therapy 06/05/2013 Faslodex
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Aug 13, 2012 08:25AM Soccermom4force wrote:

I am so so sorry your Mom and your family are having to deal with so much pain and suffering! (Whatever happened to "first do no harm"?!.. Arghhh)
I'll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers..
Wound care is definitely the priority now.. Seek out the best in your area.


" I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore,there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now, as I shall not pass this way again."

Dx 12/2/2004, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Aug 13, 2012 11:22PM bak94 wrote:

Oh that is so horrible. I am so sorry that is happening to your mom, you and your family. It should have never happened. That doctor should not be working. I hope the wound doctor can finally help her.

Not really sure what stage I am-Some docs say 3C, others say stage 4. I had no auxillary nodes positive but had internal mammary nodes positive and possibly mediastinal node positive. It's just a number anyways, right?

Dx 12/15/2002, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 2/40 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Dx 4/5/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIc, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 01/02/2003 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Chemotherapy 02/05/2003 Adriamycin, TaxolRadiation Therapy 07/08/2003 ExternalChemotherapy 04/27/2011 Adriamycin, CytoxanTargeted Therapy 05/14/2011 AvastinChemotherapy 07/29/2011 AbraxaneSurgery 11/30/2011 Mastectomy (Both)Radiation Therapy 02/11/2012 ExternalHormonal Therapy 04/10/2012 AromasinHormonal Therapy 08/02/2012 Tamoxifen