Real photographs of a mastectomy and breast reconstruction
Using tummy tissue to reconstruct breasts after a mastectomy
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TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis muscle) flap
The TRAM flap procedure uses tissue and muscle from the lower abdominal wall (tummy tissue). The
tissue from this area is used to shape the breast - an implant may not be needed if enough tissue is
available. The skin, fat, blood vessels, and at least one abdominal muscle is moved from the abdomen to the
Some months after the operation the breast can be reshaped and balanced and a nipple is added.
1 week after surgery.
Tummy tissue has been
inserted under the scar.
No implant was used.
A new navel is made. Scar
is hip to hip across pubic
area and a drip is
attached for a few weeks.
2-3 weeks after the op.
13 hour operation.
10 days in hospital
6 weeks on painkillers. Hard to sleep, can't stand straight and backache
causing the most discomfort. Home help is required and a shower chair is
needed for a few weeks.
Within 2 months everything is pretty settled. About 6 months later the tissue is
reshaped and a nipple is made by shaping and tattooing. Over time the scars
fade and a natural looking breast and flatter stomach result.
New nipples one week after operation. About 9 months after the breast reconstruction. The breasts have
almost no real feeling so discomfort is minimal.
(an option to have pink colouring tattooed around the nipple is also available at a later date)