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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 13, 2012 05:59AM, edited Aug 13, 2012 06:03AM 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 13, 2012 06:34AM 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- Surgery 10/30/2004 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Surgery 11/30/2004 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 1/2/2005 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/15/2005 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 7/23/2012, IDC, Stage IV Hormonal Therapy 7/23/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 13, 2012 06:50AM 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 9/13/2010 Mastectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Left Targeted Therapy 10/27/2010 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 10/27/2010 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 4/15/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 3/7/2012 Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap, Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/7/2012 Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 6/13/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Aug 13, 2012 08:39AM 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 7/9/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Surgery 8/9/2012 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Right Chemotherapy 8/23/2012 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/9/2013 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 4/4/2013 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 5/30/2013 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 12/4/2013 Reconstruction (right)
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Aug 13, 2012 11:14AM 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 IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/10/2012 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 10/6/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 12/13/2012 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/16/2013 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Aug 13, 2012 03:26PM 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 04:15PM 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, 2014, starting Xeloda 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 6/28/2012 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 6/5/2013 Faslodex (fulvestrant)
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Aug 13, 2012 05:25PM 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.

Marcia

" 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 14, 2012 08:22AM 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- Surgery 1/2/2003 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary, Right Chemotherapy 2/5/2003 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 7/8/2003 Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 4/5/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/27/2011 AC Targeted Therapy 5/14/2011 Avastin (bevacizumab) Chemotherapy 7/29/2011 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Surgery 11/30/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy 2/11/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 4/10/2012 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 8/2/2012