DIEP Flap reconstruction is our preferred method of reconstruction in order to preserve all of a woman’s abdominal muscle when performing breast reconstruction with her own abdominal tissue. Everyone’s anatomy is unique, however, and occasionally a small amount of muscle must be taken with the flap in order to preserve the best blood supply of the flap and prevent complications. This decision can only be made intraoperatively by surgeons trained in microsurgery.
When necessary, a muscle-sparing transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (MS TRAM) flap reconstruction is performed. By using the patient’s own abdominal skin and fat and a small portion of muscle surrounding the blood vessels supplying the tissue, the reconstructed breast feels and looks very natural following surgery and optimal blood supply is provided. During your consultation regarding breast reconstruction, your surgeon will discuss this in detail.
Contact us online today to learn more about your options for breast reconstruction. The Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery of Central Texas helps men and women from Austin, Round Rock and throughout Texas.
Benefits of MS TRAM Flap Reconstruction
MS TRAM flap reconstruction is a powerful option for breast reconstruction when using implants for reconstruction is contraindicated or when the patient chooses to use her own tissue for breast reconstruction. Patients often request flap reconstruction so that they will not have to use synthetic implants and will have a lifelong reconstruction that will not require the maintenance that implants require.
MS TRAM flap reconstruction involves the removal of tissue and a small amount of muscle from the abdomen. This can give patients the cosmetic benefit of removing excess abdominal skin and fat, similar to a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty at the same time as their breast reconstruction. The operation is significantly more complicated than an abdominoplasty, however, and a detailed consultation with a surgeon at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery of Central Texas will address all the details surrounding MS TRAM or DIEP reconstruction.
Understanding the Procedure
During the MS TRAM procedure, the flap is completely disconnected from the body. The blood vessels supplying the flap in the abdomen are cut, allowing the abdominal skin and fat to be transferred to the chest, where it is attached to blood vessels on the chest wall. These blood vessels are attached using a microscope by surgeons who are trained in microsurgery. Once new blood flow is established, the flap is carefully molded into a new breast. A skilled and experienced surgeon is essential for a successful outcome using this method.
Recovery and Results
You’ll notice a change in the appearance of your breasts right away. As the healing process continues over the coming weeks to months, your final results reveal themselves. Breast reconstruction from The Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery of Central Texas using the DIEP or MS TRAM flap can deliver a lifelong and beautiful outcome after breast cancer treatment.