If you've had or will be having a mastectomy (or in some cases, lumpectomy), you're likely facing decisions about whether or not to have breast reconstruction, and if so, what type and when. Deciding whether or not to have a breast reconstructed is a very personal choice. Take the time you need to learn about how breast reconstruction might affect you, both emotionally and physically, before you decide to have the surgery.
Learn about different surgical options and the medical and personal issues around breast reconstruction.
Intro medically reviewed by: Brian Wojciechowski, M.D.
Last review date: November 22, 2020
Feb 25, 2021 07:38PM
Hello ladies - I'm 46 years old and I completed chemo, bilateral mastectomy and radiation. I am now ready for my reconstructive surgery.
I have met with doctors and did research online. I discussed the TRAM flap and DIEP. I know the DIEP is the "newer" procedure, however, I am hesitant to through 10 hours of surgery and a much more complicated procedure for essentially the same outcome. For this reason, I am leaning toward getting the TRAM but... my main concern is the long term muscle loss. A mesh will be put in to support my abdomen. My doctors assure me with either surgery, recovery time is the same, cosmetically it's the same and I can do all activities regardless of what surgery I choose.
So.... to help confirm this, I am seeking woman who have had the TRAM Flap surgery about 5, 10 or 20 years ago. Could you kindly share your current physical lifestyle. Do you feel limited in daily physical life or outside activities due to loss of abdomen muscle and having the "mesh"?
Thank you so much!
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Mar 31, 2021 04:09AM
Im 5 years out from my TRAM. After getting thr details from the breast surgeon I found out a very small amout of muscle was used from my abdomen but bot alot. Most of the harvesting came from visceral fat, tissue and blood vessels in my abdomen.
My physical activity isnt limited one bit! After surgery my healing tome was about a month. I had some drains from the breast and abdomen. The nurses will teach you about to care for yourself once you get home.
Diagnosed at 27 y/o, synchronous bilateral breast cancer. L. Breast : IDC, R. Breast: DCIS. ER 98%, PR 100% Possible familial cancer mutation. 08/31/2016 Started Tamoxifen, 02/01/2017- 02/01/2027 AI + OS
9/8/2015, DCIS/IDC, Both breasts, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/36 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
11/17/2015 Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap
1/1/2016 AC + T (Taxol)
8/28/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin)