I would like to know if having a distended stomach with scar tissue can be fixed?

I had the tram flap surgery 4 years ago due to breast cancer. It was muscle sparing so my stomach should look like a normal stomach. I don't know what happened but I am left with a hard stomach and it gets very painful when I eat. I am not a big eater at all. I get so bloated and stomach distends and is hard as a rock.

Doctor Answers 5

Distended Stomach and Scar Tissue

Thanks for your question and I am sorry for your current situation.In my mind, it sounds like you might be experiencing two different things:Difficulty eating and distentia.This needs to be investigated away from the TRAM flap.If there is a bulge or hernia, it could be causing these symptoms.I would recommend an examination by your surgeon to make sure you don’t have a bulge or hernia.If this is the case, then they can examine whether these are in fact leading to your symptoms or if something else entirely is going on.I hope this is helpful.Best of luck!


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Breast reconstruction

The first step is to get seen and examined by your surgeon or one familiar with the procedure(s) associated with reconstruction using lower abdominal tissue.  On exam if there is a a finding consistent with a defect in the singing over the muscle I would obtain a Cat Scan to evaluate the entire area.  If the there is an indication there is a separation of the fascial lining over the muscle then  options can be discussed.

Abdominal wall issue?

I think that you may need a diagnostic test to determine if there is a hernia, fluid collection, etc.. in the abdominal wall. Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

TRAM FLAP Reconstruction

Any medical diagnosis will need
History and physical examination
lab work
imaging procedures
the right doctor and specialty
Then one can make a medical diagnosis


Based on the limited information given the differential diagnosis is any thing but simple

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Hernia repair

 Thank you for sharing your question. After tram surgery bulges and hernias of  The abdominal wall can happen. This is what you're referring to as distention. The bulge and the scar  tissue can be fixed to correct the deformity. Good luck and I hope this Helps. 

Ali Sadeghi, MD, FACS
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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.