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Diep Flap Breast Reconstruction And Tram Flap Surgery: The Differences Between The Two

If one or both breasts have been removed through mastectomy

, you likely can't wait until you can get them reconstructed. Once you start researching the procedure, you will find that you have many options. DIEP flap breast reconstruction and Tram flap surgery are two of the most common procedures. Learning a little about each one, and what makes them different, may help you decide which one you prefer.

The term DIEP is short for deep inferior epigastric perforator, which is what the blood vessel mainly used in the procedure is called. With this type of operation, fat, blood vessels, and skin are taken from the lower abdomen and moved to the chest. The doctor will then reshape the tissue to create new breasts.

One major advantage of DIEP flap breast reconstruction is that no muscle is removed, which usually signifies a shorter recovery period for most women. However, anything that is removed has to be reattached to the body in a different location. In this case, the tissue taken from the abdomen has to be reattached via blood vessels to the chest, which can be a complex process.

On the other hand, the Tram flap procedure removes muscle in addition to fat, skin, and tissue. This means that patients usually need more time to heal, and the recovery time typically involves a little more pain. However, the surgery takes less time because the muscle and tissue is not completely detached from the body, just moved up to the chest. This means there is no microsurgery necessary to reattach blood vessels like in DIEP flap breast reconstruction.

Both procedures involve using your own tissue to reconstruct your breasts. This can result in a more natural result than if implants were involved. Additionally, both types include a tummy tuck since fat is removed from the stomach and added to the chest.

It is important to do your research before any surgery so you know what kind is best for you. However, it is likely that your selected surgeon will tell you what type would be best in your situation.

You will find out at the consultation whether you are having DIEP flap or Tram flap surgery, or perhaps another kind altogether. Factors to consider will include how long the operation will last, length of recovery period, amount of discomfort you can take, and your doctor's recommendations of which one would be best for your body.

by: Abigail Aaronson
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