Asked by cheypeggy on Tuesday, June 4, 2013


    Has anyone undergone the abdominal trans flap reconstructive surgery? I'm curious about recovery issues, risks etc. Extensive radiation burns have reduced my options for reconstruction, eliminating possibility of implants.

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • HearMeRoar's Avatar

      I am really sorry to hear this. It is my fear going into radiation, too. I have tissue expanders and will start rads in 4 weeks (after my last chemo). I wish you the absolute best

      over 3 years ago
    • Msreje's Avatar

      Hi Cheypeggy, I had a single mastectomy with an abdominal trans flap reconstruction last May. I couldn't be happier with my flat belly. The plastic surgeon did a MAGNIFICENT job. As to recuperating I am still recuperating a year later. My belly and breast are "numb". I have no pain but I cannot feel that area very well. I can certainly live with this. the Dr. said that I would be recuperating from the numbness slowly. After the surgery the drains- I had six- were very annoying and hard to deal with- not impossible. I found it impossible to lay on my bed as it pulled my belly too much so I chose to sleep on the recliner for about two months. During my surgery they removed 44 lymph nodes so I had to deal with limited movement of my arm. Other than the described I cannot remember much. Funny how are brains erase the hard moments of our lives. I hope that you have an easy time with your surgery, all my best, Marisa.

      over 3 years ago
    • judyrb825's Avatar

      I had trans flap surgery 4 years ago and am very happy with my decision. I did end up with one of my abdominal drains getting infected. And they really didn't warn me about the length of the scar -goes from one hip to the other. But love that my new breast feels pretty much like the old one did

      over 3 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar

      I had that surgery and don't expect to walk upright for a while. Of course every individual is different, but if your doctor does what mine did you won't be walking up right for a couple of months. He sewed up the inside of the incision and butter flied the outside. He said they don't stitch you all the way up anymore in order to prevent infections. The pain in that area wasn't too pleasant either. Sorry to give you disparaging news, but that was my experience. I also did not have enough fat to make completely full breasts so I have to have implants put in on the 24th of June and that surgery scares me more than the others because the doctor said the implants will go up under the flaps he put in so it leads me to believe that I am going to turn out lumpy looking. I sure hope that isn't the case, but if you go that route make sure you talk to your doctor about how much fat will be available from the lower belly to form your new breasts and ask about implants as well. Better to know going in than to not know. Good luck to you.

      over 3 years ago
    • savingrace's Avatar

      Cheypeggy, I must say ditto to Msreje's comment. My experience was almost exact to hers. Right down to sleeping in the chair. I had my reconstruction six years ago and have not regretted one moment of it. I still have the numbness in part of my stomach, the breast area and under my arm but I definetely can live with that. I had 3 or 4 drains and yes, annoying but not painful. The worse I must say was after the surgery my hospital room had to remain a VERY high temperature because even though the doctor used my own tissues, my body had to be a certain temperature so that everything could blend well together. (not really sure how to explain that part) but the room was HOT for about two days. But due to ice chips and wet towels, I made it. Right now I can say I am thoroughly pleased with the outcome. Do research on the procedure and asked plenty of questons to your doctor. Wish you all the best.

      over 3 years ago
    • laurie2025's Avatar

      Hi Cheypeggy,
      I would do a bit of research on the tram flap vs. the diep flap, which is a newer procedure, and they don't remove any of your stomach muscle. Otherwise a very similar procedure, just a tiny bit less invasive.

      over 3 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar

      This surgery is the DIEP method, where they take a layer of fat from the stomach and put it into the breast area, then they reconnect the blood vessels so that the fat and tissue become live. I had originally had a mastectomy with expander, left side. I rejected the expander and had to have it removed. So, I'm scheduled for DIEP at the end of September. I decided to give my body a rest this summer-- all active treatments were done in Nov 2012. This surgery can be 8 to 12 hrs depending on the reconnection of tissue/vessels, etc. My PS told me to expect 6 week full recovery. We can go through this together...I need a buddy. Right now, I'm trying to lose more weight because then he'll be able to get my "tummy tuck" just right. Have about 30lbs that I want off! So this summer, I've decided I've put myself in training to get this weight off! Best to you..keep in touch.

      over 3 years ago

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