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Abdominal Muscle - Why Save It?

Posted Feb 06 2012 2:13pm
Most women that have looked into breast reconstruction know about the TRAM flap. The TRAM uses lower abdominal skin, fat, and varying amounts of abdominal muscle to reconstruct a "natural", warm, soft breast after mastectomy. The TRAM used to be the gold standard in breast reconstruction, but not anymore.

Over the years, the TRAM flap procedure has evolved into two more advanced procedures that decrease the risk of abdominal complications: the DIEP flap and the SIEA flap. Both use the same lower tummy skin and fat but unlike the TRAM, both SAVE all the abdominal muscle and leave it in place.

The SIEA flap differs from the DIEP flap only in terms of the blood vessels that supply the tissue. While the surgical preparation is slightly different, both procedures spare the abdominal muscle completely and only use the patient's skin and fat to reconstruct the breast. 

All three procedures provide the added benefit of a flatter abdomen with results that mimic a “tummy tuck”. However, because the TRAM flap sacrifices abdominal muscle, the risk of a hernia or abdominal bulging is signifantly higher than with the DIEP or SIEA procedures.

Since the DIEP and SIEA flaps preserve all the abdominal muscles, patients experience less pain than after TRAM flap surgery, enjoy a faster recovery and also maintain their abdominal strength long-term.

I hope this info helps.
Dr C
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PRMA Plastic Surgery specializes in advanced breast reconstruction including DIEP flap , SIEA flap , GAP flap , TUG flap , Alloderm One-Step and fat grafting . In-Network for most US insurance plans. Patients routinely welcomed from across the USA. Please call (800) 692-5565 or email patientadvocate@PRMAplasticsurgery.com to learn more about your breast reconstruction options. Connect with other breast cancer reconstruction patients at www.facebook.com/PRMAplasticsurgery .
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