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I am new to writting about this, altho have needed someones input or help. After my TF within days, it started pulling apart at the inscision. The Dr said Lets just leave it alone and lets see what happens. It pulled apart clear past my naval. I had about a 4X3 black hard stuff, with raw flesh all around it. Both breast were about a 3 inch circle of what looked like raw flesh. The Dr.s comments were always "looking good", things like this are common. It was treated with silvadine salve on abs and on breasts. Three times I had to have fluid drawn out of my abdomen. The Dr went on vacation for a month. When he got back, I actually had 3 different holes in this "sore" THe Dr he had left in charge had me put 4X4's soaked in saline, and push them into the holes. They were deep. He did another surgery 2months after and cut away all the junk, meaning he had to have pulled my already tight skin, tighter. He took a graft off my leg and covered over my breasts. We went through the saline dips again, and the salve, until it finally healed up about 6 months later. NO infection tho. My next appointment was to discuss our next step of putting on nipples, repair hernia, and he flatly said, NO MORE he wouldnt go through all this again. We were in shock. My husband and I had worked very hard at all this, and this was supposed to be an appointment of a new beginning. I havent seen him since. My primary care Dr dont really have a clue about extreme tight pulling across my abs, or IBS I had before surgery turning to gastroparesis (I have been on liquid diet 8 mo.) I have severe back pain, I had a bad back before this surgery, but I get worse all the time. I am on the Fentenyl patch for pain. Does anyone have any clues as to what to do? My Primary Dr just hasnt put it together yet. He didnt have much knowledge about the Tram Flap. Thanks for listening Mary

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It's been some time since you posted but I decided to reply anyway. I am 60ish and 18 years post bilateral TRAM flap surgery.

My upper-lower abdomen is extremely uncomfortable and I'm frequently horribly nauseated.

I feel as if I have a water-mellon pulling down my stomach. I have pain and a lump in right and left groins and it feels like a rope is constantly around my waist (which I no longer have due to the surgery) sometimes pulling so tightly I can hardly breath. I'm in constant pain.

I have the "bulge" which is a result of the surgery. The well respected doctor kept telling me I was just "swollen" and it would disappear in about a year. By the way...this state has a one year statue of limitations on medical lawsuits.

Here it is...18 years later and I'm bigger than ever. I am a size 8 and my stomach is a 18. The best years of my life were brutally ripped from me because I was misinformed. I was told I was getting a "tummy-tuck" on the side for free! I was a tiny size 6 at the time and certainly didn't need a tummy-tuck.

Blessings to all.
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I had a tram flap procedure and it has been 14 years of a medical nightmare. My incision site, pulled apart, I could
visually see my intestines. Continually visited my physican and years of therapies, with intense pain and incredible
extensive related issues. I began researching many physical theapy options and I began with myofacial release
techniques to help in the slow release of pressure that was unbearable becasue of the tightness and horrible
side effects, affecting my intenstines, stomach, diaphram and more. Slow stretching techniques began to slowly
release some of the tension. But it has been a long traumatic recovery. Many therapies my insurance would cover,
I am on disability because I cannot work, pain-sleep deprivation-makes it nearly impossible to function. I sought
out an attorney to help recover from some medical costs, but it was dismissed becasue he failed to get a expert
witness in this area, yet I have extensive medical records and 1 other woman I know has also been devistated
by this same doctor! My faith has kept my sanity, and constant therapy is my way of life. A regimen of stretching,
some forms of yoga, relaxation, sometimes pain meds is how I have to manage, myofacial work has helped alot.
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I too had the tram flap surgery in 2001.  2 years ago I developed the bulge (painful hernia) beneath my rib cage.  Now 2 days ago I started developing the swelling of the abdomin and it feels like my stomach is falling out of my body!  What can be done to repair this situation.  This came on quickly and really has me scared.  The hernia I could deal with, but this swelling and pain is very disturbing.  I can't stand long and can do nothing physically demanding.  I have no health insurance or I would have been to the Dr by now.  Maybe emergency room is my only option... what to do??
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FINALLY!!! I have found others who have suffered the same fate with Tramflap surgery.  I have never wished these problems on anyone but sure have felt ALONE since this was done in April of 2010.  After reading the above posts though, I almost feel lucky.  My incisions (belly & breasts) became Necrotic (dead tissue) soon after surgery.  The breasts healed beautifully and I'm very pleased other than the fact that it always feels like I have a tight bra on, even when I don't.  I have lived with uncomfortable bras most of my life (69 yrs.) so that I can cope with.

A really large area on my abdomen had to be cut away and a skin graft from my leg was placed over it.  Very ugly, very rigid and forever uncomfortable.  I can't understand the primitive treatment of the person who wrote January 19, 08.  I was fortunate to have a really skilled home care nurse and a husband who is my hero.  He stepped in like Dr. DooLittle and applied Silvadene and changed dressings like an angel.  I had to have a pump applied to the belly wound to pull fluids out for a month.  It may not have been available in 08.  Filling holes with gauze is horrifying to read.

I have had a hard time coping with what feels "like a swimming pool noodle" across my midriff.  Makes it hard to tie my shoes and sometimes even hard to breathe.  My abdomen is so disfigured that in order to look decent in my clothes and pull everything together, I wear what I call a corset.  It works very well and brings to mind the movie GONE WITH THE WIND when Scarlett had her maid pull the ties to her corset while she hung onto the bed post.  Mine hooks in front.  It's called a "SQUEEM" and I bought a couple at a lingerie shop that specializes in Mastectomy bras and prothesis.

I feel so bad for the most recent person who posted this past April 19th, 2011.  To not have insurance is really frightening.  I really hope you were able to get some help.

There really aren't many postings on this site but I am going to keep searching to see if we have a sisterhood out there where we might be able to at least support each other and share what we learn.  I am pretty miserable with my final result but I do have great moral support surrounding me.  It's just that I know they can never quite understand the awful discomfort we deal with on a constant basis.  I found this site by typing in "tram flap lawsuits."  No info about that yet but I have begun moving in that direction.  If I can't be fixed then I want the next best thing...security.

I truly think my saving grace through this whole thing is to have a sense of humor, smile & laugh often and don't think about your limitations so much as do EVERYTHING YOU CAN!  Smiles beat drama every time.  It is true that if you pretend to be happy, you will really become happy.  That applies to everything in your life.
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To anyone who reads this and has suffered from a traumatic result from the tram-flap procedure, know you are not alone. I also know that just having someone that can be emphatic to our situations, know that angels never walk alone! I have my faith that has given me great strength, or this wouldn't be possible to live and laugh each day. Since I had my procedure 14 years ago, I had attempted to recooperate at least medical costs from a lawsuit, but it got dismissed basically because my attorney was paid to drop the case. I have suffered an unbelieveable amount of physical pain and cannot believe how many , could not comprehend what this did to my body and how my body now has to function with every movement. and many doctors KNEW what happened they just avoided me! Medically, no doctor wanted to treat me. It has been endless treatments that often were not even covered by insurance but I did them, because it gave me some relief (myofacial release) and chiropractic care and and extensive stretching regimen, and water therapies help but I need to manage this on a daily basis. I am also divorced and have lived on little or no income and support 2 children, live on county food support and minimal child support and have fought for spousal maintenance because I haven't worked for over 14 years. I owned my own business and did not want to lose my ability to work, but the pain and all this entailed, it literally was impossible to work. This has devistated my life in more ways than I could ever record. BUT I also know that when we speak out, our voice is heard. I fought the insurance company to help cover therapies that helped, and they refused. I have extensive documentation, and was hopeful to have some reimbursement or at least have my care paid for so I can live with manageable pain. I never sought out legal help to "get back" at the doctor that damaged me, I just wanted someone to help find resolution so I can continue my life. I also have accepted that I will never be the same. I also feel that our voices need to be heard, and perhaps a team effort will educate, and perhaps give us some compensation so that we can encourage each other and support ourselves, because financially it is impossible to have a "somewhat" normal life, when so many have ran away from what really happened. Our voices need to be heard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I typed in Tram Flap/6 years later and found all of you people tonight!!!  I have had some similar after-surgery complications too.  I had my surgery
6 1/2 years ago.  Breasts are good, no bra needed.  However, I understand the too tight bra feeling.  I also had several skin grafts to cover the tears in my abdominal incision.  This was no tummy-tuck!  The best exercise I have found for me is Aquafit three times a week.  Great to find all of you out there.
susan
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I have been seeking help with my tram flap procedure in 2003.  It was seriously botched up, is all I can say, for the next 2-4 yrs, I had to find another surgeon that would look at me first of all.  I found in small towns Drs all stick together!  Trying to get a 2nd option was a joke. After my 5th dr he said I needed to go to the wound care center immediately.  There was allot more after that.  I was finally proud of my new boob, could wear sexy bras and such, however that all came to an end in 2008.  I suddenly began having breathing issues, I would try to put a bra on and I swear it shrank within 1-2 hrs.  I even bought bras that were 4 times larger around, and within 2 hrs...I couldnt breath and had to get it off.  I had peumonia was treated for over 6 months with a variety of antibodics & streiods.  I began to feel better,then went down hill again finding from all the drugs I had developed a 6 in fungus on my upper lobe in my right lung.  The pulmonary Dr treated me with a antifungal for appromately 1 wk.  I did research after the biopsy came back showing it was a candida fungus and began changing my diet and research herbs to help it all.  That took nearly a yr to clear up, I did seem to be breathing better, lost some weight also.  However late in 2009 I had pneumonia again a few days after Thanksgiving, in I had severe pain under my right breast where the incension was and they discovered cancer had re-appeared in the old scar.  That was removed in Jan of 2010.  Since all the breathing issues the lung Drs just tell me its copd, so I am on oxygen at night, breathing treatments thru out the day, inhalers and just about anything I can get my hands on.  In 2011 I was in the hospital 3 times with pneumonia, the last time was in Dec a few days after Christmas.  They ran a cocktial of antibodics & steriods thru me, again I began to feel and breath better.  It is now the end of April 2012 and again breathing difficutlies continue.  It just seems strange that the breast cancer with tram flap was on the right side, the lung issus also on the right side.  I still yet have occassional pain along the incesion area and I am totally at a loss on what to do. My working has pretty much came to a stop and was granted ss disability in March this yr, however it is not enough to sustain life!  So I try to still to my real estate business on good days!  I just so seems strange I was FINE until I was cut into my first ever surgery that was and still is a nightmare.  The Drs did ask if I felt anything was working and I told them after taking 3-4 days of antibodics & steriods I would start feeling pretty good, could breath better, but toward the end of the dosages I would start going down hill again.  I am such at a loss over all this!!!!  I would love help!!!  However right now I have no insurance and havent since my 1st employer dismissed me my 1st day back to work after my breast cancer....So it has truly been a struggle...I live in the West part of Houston Tx sometimes I feel the air doesnt help so I wear a mask when I go out.  I just all seems strange everything seems to be happening on the same right side!!!!!!

Linda in West Houston

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Hi to my sisters who suffer with the Trans Flap surgery complications. I too am a size 10 everywhere but my waist is a size 16! I am in lots of pain everytime I eat and my stomach swells up to three times it's normal size, with lots of gas, and I can only eat one plateful of food per day. I went on a glutetn-free diet to to see if it helped and it did a lttle. I try to walk daily (can no longer run or bike ride but to the pain of a huge hernia from the TFprocedure I had back in 2003). I often have breathing problems and have gained about 20 lbs that I can't get off because I can't exercise enough. I am 68 yrs old and have been unemployed for the last 5 years and haven't tried to get disability, since I can drive and sit, though there aren't any jobs in this area and I've been on several interviews but I can't stand, lift or bend, so I don't even get hired for office work i my field.



I have difficulty with nausea, heartburn, acidity, and breathing, bending, etc. I get out of breath easily. I am 9 yrs post op and have a hernia about the size of a loaf of bread on my right side. I cannot sleep easily and hate my ugly body with the huge stomach. My Dr. told me I would never have a flat stomach but I had no idea it would be this LARGE and protruding. My Dr. told me the hernia surgery would be easier if I lost 10 lbs but my stomach is hard and painful and I can't lose any weight. I weigh 169 lbs and it's all stomach.



My oncologist has tested me with blood tests regularly (every 3 mos o 6 mos) to make sure I don't have reoccurence of cancer but no one can help me lose any weight. My usual weight was 135 - 140 lbs. I am single, guys don't want to go out with me because of my huge stomach and my Dr. said the fat is under the TF reconstruction, so how does one lose that weight?



Can anyone give me the name of a Dr. in South Florida that can help me?



thanks and good luck to you all with these problems...I tell every woman not to get the TF procedure for reconstruction - it's very difficult to have this much pain and I refuse to take pills other than Tums and Prilosec. My internist checks my thyroid regularly and now wants to send me to the Cleveland Clinic which is about 2hrs from my house, because he heard of someone there who may be able to help. Anyone have any advice for me?



Thanks and I'm sending love, light and prayers to all my sisters with these TF problems...
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Sharon wrote:

Linda Daniels Morris wrote:

I have been seeking help with my tram flap procedure in 2003.  It was seriously botched up, is all I can say, for the next 2-4 yrs, I had to find another surgeon that would look at me first of all.  I found in small towns Drs all stick together!  Trying to get a 2nd option was a joke. After my 5th dr he said I needed to go to the wound care center immediately.  There was allot more after that.  I was finally proud of my new boob, could wear sexy bras and such, however that all came to an end in 2008.  I suddenly began having breathing issues, I would try to put a bra on and I swear it shrank within 1-2 hrs.  I even bought bras that were 4 times larger around, and within 2 hrs...I couldnt breath and had to get it off.  I had peumonia was treated for over 6 months with a variety of antibodics & streiods.  I began to feel better,then went down hill again finding from all the drugs I had developed a 6 in fungus on my upper lobe in my right lung.  The pulmonary Dr treated me with a antifungal for appromately 1 wk.  I did research after the biopsy came back showing it was a candida fungus and began changing my diet and research herbs to help it all.  That took nearly a yr to clear up, I did seem to be breathing better, lost some weight also.  However late in 2009 I had pneumonia again a few days after Thanksgiving, in I had severe pain under my right breast where the incension was and they discovered cancer had re-appeared in the old scar.  That was removed in Jan of 2010.  Since all the breathing issues the lung Drs just tell me its copd, so I am on oxygen at night, breathing treatments thru out the day, inhalers and just about anything I can get my hands on.  In 2011 I was in the hospital 3 times with pneumonia, the last time was in Dec a few days after Christmas.  They ran a cocktial of antibodics & steriods thru me, again I began to feel and breath better.  It is now the end of April 2012 and again breathing difficutlies continue.  It just seems strange that the breast cancer with tram flap was on the right side, the lung issus also on the right side.  I still yet have occassional pain along the incesion area and I am totally at a loss on what to do. My working has pretty much came to a stop and was granted ss disability in March this yr, however it is not enough to sustain life!  So I try to still to my real estate business on good days!  I just so seems strange I was FINE until I was cut into my first ever surgery that was and still is a nightmare.  The Drs did ask if I felt anything was working and I told them after taking 3-4 days of antibodics & steriods I would start feeling pretty good, could breath better, but toward the end of the dosages I would start going down hill again.  I am such at a loss over all this!!!!  I would love help!!!  However right now I have no insurance and havent since my 1st employer dismissed me my 1st day back to work after my breast cancer....So it has truly been a struggle...I live in the West part of Houston Tx sometimes I feel the air doesnt help so I wear a mask when I go out.  I just all seems strange everything seems to be happening on the same right side!!!!!!

Linda in West Houston


Hi to my sisters who suffer with the Trans Flap surgery complications. I too am a size 10 everywhere but my waist is a size 16! I am in lots of pain everytime I eat and my stomach swells up to three times it's normal size, with lots of gas, and I can only eat one plateful of food per day. I went on a glutetn-free diet to to see if it helped and it did a lttle. I try to walk daily (can no longer run or bike ride but to the pain of a huge hernia from the TFprocedure I had back in 2003). I often have breathing problems and have gained about 20 lbs that I can't get off because I can't exercise enough. I am 68 yrs old and have been unemployed for the last 5 years and haven't tried to get disability, since I can drive and sit, though there aren't any jobs in this area and I've been on several interviews but I can't stand, lift or bend, so I don't even get hired for office work i my field.

I have difficulty with nausea, heartburn, acidity, and breathing, bending, etc. I get out of breath easily. I am 9 yrs post op and have a hernia about the size of a loaf of bread on my right side. I cannot sleep easily and hate my ugly body with the huge stomach. My Dr. told me I would never have a flat stomach but I had no idea it would be this LARGE and protruding. My Dr. told me the hernia surgery would be easier if I lost 10 lbs but my stomach is hard and painful and I can't lose any weight. I weigh 169 lbs and it's all stomach.

My oncologist has tested me with blood tests regularly (every 3 mos o 6 mos) to make sure I don't have reoccurence of cancer but no one can help me lose any weight. My usual weight was 135 - 140 lbs. I am single, guys don't want to go out with me because of my huge stomach and my Dr. said the fat is under the TF reconstruction, so how does one lose that weight?

Can anyone give me the name of a Dr. in South Florida that can help me?

thanks and good luck to you all with these problems...I tell every woman not to get the TF procedure for reconstruction - it's very difficult to have this much pain and I refuse to take pills other than Tums and Prilosec. My internist checks my thyroid regularly and now wants to send me to the Cleveland Clinic which is about 2hrs from my house, because he heard of someone there who may be able to help. Anyone have any advice for me?

Thanks and I'm sending love, light and prayers to all my sisters with these TF problems...


Your comments about being a 16 in middle and a 10 everywhere else hit the nail on the head for me. I had the tf in 2004 and when I eat my stomach swells like I am 9 months pregnant. Not only that, my tram site is shrinking and my side and rib cage have been sore for the last nine years. NO doctor will do anything to help. They say get a massage. I thought I was alone. So glad to hear that I am not!
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Thank you. I was the same. A size 6 and now, well my life is pretty over. I am 4 years post bi lateral tram flap and the Dr has destroyed my life. I have a bulge, tightness, cannot move properly, mesh that is so tight and inflexible, I wish to God I had never had it done. My body twisted because one side was pulled so tight, i walk with a limp. I just want it to end, but each morning it just starts all over again.

I have lost faith.


I know how you and others feel, we have robbed of our lives.
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I feel the same was and I too was told about the reward of a free tummy tuck! Well my back pain has been so terrible I can longer enjoy activities of any kind. Tennis and golf are out and even swimming causes pain. I used to ride horses and can no longer do that either. Had I know this I would have chosen a different route.
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I'm scared to death that I have some type of abdominal cancer and just happened to google tram flap and pain years later!!! I had a tram 16 yr ago and things were good with my surgery. For about the past 5 years I've had trouble with the "pregnant" belly and gas. I too can't eat much at all without feeling like my gut has a rope around my diaphragm and pain. I also have the bulge between the breasts that was supposed to go away in a year...
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Hi Bonnie and other Tram Flap survivors.

I had my Tram in 2002 at age 43. I guess I am one of the lucky ones as my breast and my abdomen look fine. I had a reduction on the right side and the tram on the left. No surgery complications and I have a flat belly. My side effect that will last till the day I die is pain. No doctor warned me about the ongoing, never ending back and abdominal pain. I live on pain killers and as I age the pain gets worse. I will admit that I do have some good days, but if I get over tired - forget it, I will be in severe pain. I think the mesh is causing alot of pain, but I am not sure and I am not sure who to ask about it.
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I am 5 years post tram flap surgery which has robbed me of all quality of life and leave it very difficult to continue working. I was an active fit woman before the devastaing and mutilating surgery. The Dr. never advised that Diep flap was less invasive keeping the ab muscle since he was not experienced in this micro surgery. The Dr's never explained the serious complications that are evidently very common as I have only found on these blogs. The Dr. only noted the advantages of a tummy tuck which I did not need as a size 2. My waisline is gone and I have a huge belly bulge so must wear maternity style tops. The tightness and discomfort is continual all day making work difficult. not to mention any social life. I have back pain that I never had before. There must be a group effort we women suffering silently can make if nothing else bring awareness to stop tram flap surgery. If anyone wants to take the lead to organize a movement., I will be the first to join.
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