TRAM Flap Reconstruction
Women have many choices when it comes to breast reconstruction following removal of breast cancer. Some of the options include implant-based reconstruction and autologous tissue-based reconstruction. One of the more popular autologous tissue-based reconstruction options is the TRAM flap.
The 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. There are two ways to do a TRAM flap — as a free (detatched) tissue flap, and as a pedicle (attached and tunneled) tissue flap (pictured above). During a TRAM flap reconstruction, skin, fat, and muscle will be moved from your abdomen up to your chest wall, and used to create a breast mound. Most women have enough tissue in their abdominal 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.