The TRAM Flap procedure is not offered at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery. More advanced techniques now allow for use of the same tummy fat to create a new breast without destroying the abdomen’s muscles or implanting artificial mesh. Pioneering work at our Center has resulted in the development of sophisticated microsurgical techniques that make the TRAM flap obsolete as a choice for breast reconstruction at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery.
The TRAM flap (transverse rectus abdominis muscle) procedure involves the transferring of skin, fat and muscle tissue (“the flap”) from the abdominal area to the mastectomy site. The Flap remains attached to the original blood supply and tunneled beneath the upper abdominal skin to the chest and formed into a new breast mound. A TRAM flap sacrifices one or both abdominal muscles to supply the blood flow to the flap. The patient is left with warm, living tissue, however the TRAM flap carries many disadvantages over the newer, more advanced DIEP Flap Reconstruction. Dr. Frank DellaCroce, Dr. Scott Sullivan and Dr. Christopher Trahan at the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery do not recommend or perform the TRAM flap procedure because the risks are far greater than any benefit.
One critical disadvantage of the TRAM flap is donor site morbidity due to poor blood supply to the skin and fat. With the sacrifice of all or part of the abdominal muscle the side effects can be long lasting or permanent, as well, and the possibility of abdominal weakness, bulging or hernia can occur.
The DIEP Flap Reconstruction improves upon the higher risk TRAM flap by keeping the abdominal muscles intact, causing less surgical pain and a shorter recovery period. The less invasive DIEP flap breast reconstruction technique allows for better aesthetic outcomes and fewer donor site complications. Drs. DellaCroce, Sullivan and Trahan are international leaders in all breast cancer surgery options, including DIEP flap breast reconstruction.
The Center for Restorative Breast Surgery, affiliated with the St. Charles Surgical Hospital—the only hospital in the world dedicated to breast reconstruction for women facing breast cancer—was established to serve as a dedicated center of excellence for women seeking the most advanced methods of breast reconstruction. Craig A. Blum, MD; Frank J. DellaCroce, MD, FACS; Scott K. Sullivan, MD, FACS; Chris Trahan, MD, FACS; and M. Whitten Wise, MD are pioneers in the art of rebuilding breasts lost to cancer, preventive mastectomy, developmental defects, and deformities associated with previous surgery. Their sophisticated microsurgical techniques allow for recreation of the breast with natural tissue while preserving strength and restoring beauty. Together, with our Breast Oncology team Surgical Breast Oncologist W. Karl Ordoyne, M.D., FACS and Clinical Breast Oncologist Alan Stolier, M.D., FACS, they comprise a group of international leaders in breast cancer surgery options, pioneering groundbreaking procedures including nipple sparing mastectomy, the Stacked DIEP, the Gluteal Hip Flap, the BODY LIFT Flap®, and the APEX Flap. They have performed thousands of breast reconstruction procedures for women facing breast cancer, seeking BRCA risk reduction, or searching for solutions to existing breast deformities. Their Center is tailored and staffed to cater to the needs of clientele who travel from all over the world for their services. For more information please visit www.breastcenter.com or www.scsh.com.