TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction in Charlotte

While expander and implant surgery is a great option for some women, others may choose to undergo TRAM flap breast reconstruction, making use of their own tissue to recreate their breast.

The TRAM flap (transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous flap) uses a patient’s lower abdominal skin and fat to reconstruct the breast. There are many variations of this type of breast reconstruction surgery with multiple names, but the basic idea is this: During this surgery, the skin and fat of the lower abdomen is moved to the position of the breast. It is either rotated up with some of the abdominal muscles (a pedicled TRAM flap), or it is brought up into position and then blood vessels are sewn together to provide a blood supply (a free TRAM flap).

TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction

Regardless of which is used by your plastic surgeon the abdominal tissue is transferred to your chest to restore the shape of your breast. The abdominal incision is then closed much as an abdominoplasty would be, leaving you with both a reconstructed breast and a tummy tuck. TRAM flap breast reconstruction generally takes 3-6 hours and requires a few days stay in the hospital. Many women are able to return to simple activity within the week, and most women can resume full activities within 4-6 weeks*.

The second stage of this breast reconstruction involves restoring the nipple and areola. Skin from the central portion of the breast is used to recreate the nipple. This is performed a few months after the original surgery, either in the hospital or as an office procedure. Once your plastic surgeon has surgically created the nipple and areola, many women go on to have the area tattooed so that the color match is natural.

Recovery from TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction

After TRAM flap breast reconstruction surgery, you will need time to recover. After the procedure, you will have dressings, stitches, staples, or surgical drains to manage. It requires about six to eight weeks to fully recovery, and during this time, many patients will be wearing a compression girdle. You will have three different incisions to care for during this period – but once healed, your new breasts will look and feel natural – as they have been created from your own tissue. Avoid lifting, vigorous physical activity, and intercourse for about six weeks to protect the healing incisions. It may require even a year or more before the scars are fully faded.


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Your health, safety, and wellbeing is our top priority.

Our office is open, and we are excited to be providing you with select services! Criswell & Criswell Plastic Surgery is leading the way in Charlotte and the South East region with our cutting edge technology, and continued safety measures We appreciate the trust you place in us and wish to assure you we are addressing the COVID-19 outbreak at the highest level to continue to ensure you enjoy an exceptional experience.

Criswell & Criswell Plastic Surgery is committed to taking proactive precautions, grounded in science, to provide the highest level of quality care to our patients. In addition to our already stringent policies, our office has implemented strict protocols and procedures based on the recommendations of The American Society of Plastic Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Service Task Force, and the CDC. All staff members and surgical patients have tested negative for COVID-19 meaning our Quad A certified surgical suite is among the safest centers in the region.

We strive to consistently provide you with cutting edge technology for an exceptional patient experience. Our practice offers virtual consultations which you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home. Our virtual consultation process ensures you have ample time to have your questions answered and spend time getting to know your physician. You can also enjoy full access to your skincare specialist, nurses, and Patient Coordinators through virtual visits.

We know everyone is very busy and your time is valuable. Our in-person visits are designed with you in mind to keep your wait times short, and your in-room time effective and focused on your goals so we can get you back to your life.

We are privileged to serve you at Criswell & Criswell Plastic Surgery and are here to support you during these uncertain times.

Sincerely and with warm regards,

Bryan K. Criswell M.D., F.A.C.S.
Kara K. Criswell M.D., F.A.C.S.

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