Pedicle Flap Breast Reconstruction (TRAM) Surgery
Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for this type of surgery and the surgery itself has some limitations. Some patients may be too thin or too heavy to safely and predictably perform this surgery. The surgery is moderately extensive and usually requires a 2-3 hospitalization. Once home, the initial recovery is about 2 weeks and return to full pre-surgical activity may be as 6 weeks or more. The risks include partial loss of the breast reconstruction but only rarely complete loss. There is also risk of complication at the abdominal donor site, including abdominal wall weakness and hernia. Most patients do not notice weakness from the harvest of either the rectus or latissimus muscles unless they are extremely active, athletic, or body builders. In those cases another type of reconstruction might be preferable.
Nevertheless, this technique is a powerful and rewarding in the appropriate setting.