Side effects of TRAM flap reconstruction?

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Question from Babzi: I have just had reconstruction. I was informed of complications that could happen to the breast but was not informed that I could have problems with my tummy where the tissue was taken from, which subsequently broke down and got infected. Should I have been informed about this before I had surgery?
Answers - Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. The type of reconstruction you're referring to is called a TRAM-flap where a part of the muscle, fatty tissue, and skin from the lower abdomen is rotated up to create breast reconstruction. While this is a beautiful reconstruction that typically does not require implants, some of the short-term and long-term issues can be abdominal wall weakness, hernia formation, risk of infection at the incision, and chronic pain, which is generally discussed as part of the scheduled side effects, or complications of this procedure.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called After Surgery: Short-Term and Long-Term Effects featured Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Linda Miller, P.T. answering your questions about short-term and long-term side effects of breast surgery, and what you can do about them.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in May 2008.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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