Tram Flap Reconstruction Horrible Experience - Columbia, MO

I had a horrible experience with my tram flap...

I had a horrible experience with my tram flap reconstruction. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I broke open on my abdomen about 1 inch deep, 1 inch up and down, and 3 inches across. I broke open around both breast and had large holes in the openings also. I couldn't heal with the saline soaked gauze the surgeon was having me use. I went to my primary care physician. She wanted me to sunbathe nude (I live in town) so I ended up buying a heat lamp and attaching it to the back of a dining room chair and laid on the floor under it so I wouldn't burn. I soon could see I was going to heal.

I have no tummy muscles (they used mesh) so I roll out of bed. I have no definition between my breasts and my stomach. I am round like a barrel. I have no waist and my navel is not where it used to be and excuse me but my pubic area is huge now! If I wear clothes that fit my butt, then they cut me in half. If I wear clothes that fit my waist, then I have baggy butt. I have large fatty areas under my arms and have nothing above my breasts; I am concave. It is hard to find tops that look nice.

I am 13 yrs. past my surgery. I have an appt. with a different plastic surgeon and am wondering if with the new strides they have made in implants if that is a way for me to go. I do not want to be any larger. I am fine with that. To use an implant does the Dr. have to make me larger or does he take out tissue to make me the same? Can the area that is concave be fixed? Am I in for a lot of pain? If I get an implant, can I lie on my stomach? Can I take hits/blows to the chest without them breaking? Any suggestions would be helpful.

Sue, I just found your review. I have a review also; I Had To Reconstruct the Reconstruction. I had an awful experience although not to the degree of yours. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 06, I asked about the Tram Flap. To his credit, the awful surgeon I unknowingly had at the time told me that he would only recommend a Tram Flap procedure by someone who only does Tram Flaps and that it is quite complicated and requires expertise in that area. He also explained that I would lose a significant amount of mobility. I decided on a tradtional reconstruction after bilateral mastectomies. You can read my review for what happened after that. I went six years with a deformed, uncomfortable chest. I finally decided that I would seek help from another plastic surgeon who specialized in reconstruction and he has worked a miracle for me! To answer your questions, my new surgeon did not have to make me any bigger. He used the extra skin and "pocket" that the first surgeon made but did not use. Go figure. The pain is minimal. So many of your nerves are cut that you feel very little pain. As far as your shape being concave, I can tell you that I didn't think it was possible to look as good as I do now. I truly looked deformed. I was expecting very little difference and have been shocked and pleased by what the right surgeon can do. Eventually you can sleep on your stomach. I don't know what you do for a living or what your hobbies are and I don't know why you would be taking blows to the chest. If you box, for instance, protective gear should protect your breasts. You can fix it. I did and I could not be more thrilled. It took me six years to decided that I had the energy to go through it again, but I'm so glad I did! The surgeon makes all the difference in the world!

I just read your blog. You are a HERO! You didn't sit back heartbroken; you DID something. I am so glad for you and know you have given other women so much hope for a better life. Six years cancer free--You Go, Girl! I have been 13 yrs. with this horror and had so much trouble I am afraid of more surgery. I cancelled my PS appt. and went to be fitted for prostheses that will help lift and fill the concaveness. I keep remembering how I hated those darn things before my tram flap, but the fear of going through what I did before is just too much. I won't even let my husband look at me anymore I look so bad. ;( On the positive side, I AM 19 YRS. CANCER FREE with the mutated BRCA 2 gene.

I was. They could see the horrible mess I was in and the terrible pain, but they were very worried about me. I have two really funny stories of things I said that night. I was heavily medicated. One is short, I'll tell it. I asked if the elephant ears were still on sale. lol

Not sympathetic to my needs or problems. Was late to my appts. Mean when asked questions post surgery. Had to go to my primary care physician to get healing problem resolved.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
1 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
1 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
1 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
1 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
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