Many women prefer natural reconstruction over breast implants. The pedicled TRAM (Transverse Rectus Abdominis Myocutaneous) flap is one of the most common methods of breast reconstruction. Using this method, breast reconstruction surgeons are able to restore the natural appearance of the breast using a woman’s own body tissues.
|During a pedicled TRAM flap breast reconstruction procedure, donor tissue is taken from the abdominal skin and tunneled or surgically transplanted to the site of reconstruction.||The rectus muscle, still intact, is transported to serve as a circulatory pathway for the newly grafted breast tissue.||After reconstructive surgery of the areola and the nipple is complete the new breast tissue looks and feels like the patient’s original breast.|
The medical term “pedicle” refers to the part of a skin graft that remains attached to the original donor site. The pedicled TRAM flap method of breast reconstruction transfers the tissues of the lower abdomen along with the rectus muscle (“ab muscle”) to the site where the new breast is to be constructed. Because the rectus muscle remains intact, it is able to provide blood flow to the skin and fat that composes the bulk of the flap. Patients receive the added benefit of removing the often unwanted tissues present in the lower abdomen (similar to a “tummy tuck”). The pedicled TRAM flap method of breast reconstruction restores a natural appearing breast without the need for implants.
The reconstruction of the areola and nipple takes place after some recovery time has passed. Although some scars are inevitable, they tend to become less noticeable over time. The completed breasts will look and feel completely natural. At our breast reconstruction practice in New Jersey, patients treated using the pedicled TRAM flap method have enjoyed superb success rates and a high level of satisfaction with the results of their surgery.