410-202-2225 Menu

Lutherville, MD 21093 410-202-2225

Bel Air, MD 21014 410-202-8350

What is TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction?

he TRAM flap (Transverse Rectus Abdominus Myocutaneous) is a tissue flap procedure that uses muscle, fat and skin from your abdomen to create a new breast mound after a mastectomy. This procedure takes its name from the transverse rectus abdominus muscle in your tummy. Your reconstructed breast will not look and feel exactly the same as your natural breast, and you will need additional surgery to create a nipple and areola.

How is TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction performed?

During a TRAM flap reconstruction, skin, fat, and muscle will be moved from your tummy up to your chest and used to create a breast mound. Most women have enough tissue in their tummy area to create a new breast. But if there is not enough tissue, a small implant can be placed to fill out the size of the new breast. Two methods are used to move your tissue from your tummy to your chest — free flap and pedicle flap.

What are the advantages of TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction?

A TRAM flap reconstructed breast will feel very much like a natural breast to anyone who is touching you: It will be warm and soft because it will have good circulation and enough fat to drape and sway like your original breast. Because abdominal muscles and fat are incorporated into your new breast, you will also have a tummy tuck, resulting in a flatter abdomen. It is important to know that your new breast will not have much sensation, because the nerves that were in your original breast have been removed.

What can I expect during
TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction?

You will not be awake during your mastectomy or reconstruction, so you will have intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. If you are having a mastectomy and reconstruction at the same time (immediate reconstruction), your general surgeon will first remove your breast, sparing as much skin as will be safe to keep. Then, Dr. Birely will use a skin marker to carefully plan for the incision that will create your skin flap. A pointed ellipse will be drawn across your abdomen, over your rectus abdominus muscle. This ellipse will become the skin flap that closes the incision for your reconstructed breast. When the incision for the flap is shut, it will become a line that crosses your tummy from hip to hip. On the skin markings, Dr. Birely will make an incision, and raise the skin and muscle flap. A tunnel will be created under your skin so that the flap can be relocated. This tissue flap will go through the tunnel to your mastectomy incision.

How long is recovery after TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction?

You may need to stay in the hospital 4 to 7 days as you begin healing from breast reconstructive surgery. If you have surgical drains, you will learn how to empty those and keep records of the fluid volume. Report pain if you have any, so that it can be treated. Don’t go right back to work; plan on taking it easy for 3 to 6 weeks for recovery. Be sure to have someone around to help drive you and do any lifting. Also, be sure to go for your follow-up appointments so your surgeon can keep an eye on your incisions and dressings, and remove your drains.

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19 Learn More Virtual Consultation

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

To our Artistry in Plastic Surgery Patients,

We are all experiencing unprecedented changes in our normal routines and I wanted to talk to you as our extended family as to how we here at Artistry in Plastic Surgery are doing.

As of March 23rd, we stopped seeing patients in our offices due to the decision of Governor Hogan to shut down all non-essential businesses. No one knows how long this period is going to last, and I am optimistic this whole ordeal will be over in the not so distant future, allowing us to return to our “normal” lives.

Just as Governor Hogan is trying to do on a much larger scale, we are trying to balance the health and well-being of our patients and employees, while keeping everyone employed, and providing good care to our patients.

To that end, for any patient who needs to be seen for any post-operative care or emergency basis (i.e. laceration repair), I will still be available at either our Lutherville or Bel-Air offices, following all CDC recommendations to prevent exposure.

We have also just implemented the ability to schedule virtual consultations for our current and new patients for injectable, surgical and non-surgical services.

As an extra incentive, we are offering all patients the ability to purchase gift cards from the office at a discount. For all gift cards up to $500, we are offering 10% off or you can choose to receive 15% off for gift cards of more than $500.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, virtual consultation with myself, Cheryl or Melissa, if you need a skincare product, or to purchase gift cards please leave a message at 410-828-9570 or by emailing info@drbirely.com and our Patient Coordinator, Christine, will be in touch with you shortly.

As I tell my family and friends, the best way to survive this challenge is to stay informed, make decisions that are best for ourselves and our loved ones, and try not to panic. We will get through this and be stronger on the other side.

Be safe and healthy, - Dr. Brent C. Birely

Virtual Consultation

Schedule A Consultation

Get StartedSchedule A Consultation

X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X