I am going to have a breast reconstruction and my surgeon wants to reconstruct my Breast with my tummy muscle and fat. Advice?

I had breast cancer on my right breast grade 3 so they removed my breast had chemo and also radiation. My surgeon doesn't want to put implants in because he said my skin my not stretch cause of the radiation I had. I would like to know if you have heard of this operation were they take one of the stomach ab along with a tummy tuck and rebuild a breast for me he reckons that this is better and it's only one operation. I'm scared cause I heard that you can loose feeling of your bladder please help

Doctor Answers 2


the TRAM flap is a good choice for someone in your position. there are a lot of complications involved, but never have I heard of loss of bladder control. go back and talk to your surgeon again

Newark Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Breast reconstruction with tummy tuck tissue

Thank you for your question.

The radiotherapy given to your right breast means that there is a very high risk of implant infection/exposure if your surgeon tries for an implant only reconstruction. So the better options are to either wrap the implant in tissue that hasn't had radiotherapy or make the whole breast from your own tissue, and not use an implant at all.

Using your own tissue to reconstruct a breast is called an "autologous" reconstruction. It is considered to be the best form of breast reconstruction, as the tissue loses weight and gains weight with you. It tends to look, feel and behave more like a natural breast than an implant. The goal of all reconstruction is symmetry with the other breast, and an autologous reconstruction gives you the best chance at that.

If you have enough tissue in your lower abdomen that you could use a tummy tuck, then you can have a tummy tuck and your plastic surgeon will use that tissue to make you a breast. The operation is a big one - larger than your mastectomy procedure - but it is the best form of reconstruction available. There will be some temporary numbness of the lower abdomen but it should not affect your bladder in any way.

The name of the flap of tissue used is either a TRAM flap or a DIEP flap. You will be able to see many before and after photos of this procedure on this site.

I hope this helps.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.