TRAM flap is a patch. TRAM flap is 20th Century surgery, said Khouri. You do get the benefit of an abdominoplasty, if you need a tummy tuck, but it is a huge operation with a longer recuperation.
The procedure requires about eight hours. The patients hospital stay could last up to six days, and the recovery time could lengthen to about six weeks. Patients generally feel more discomfort on their abdomen than on their chest.
Khouri is training surgeons from around the world on a procedure that has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but he believes is the best option for reconstruction.
TRAM flap was good for women who didnt want a foreign body, said Khouri. Now we can build an entire breast from your own fat without having to undergo a major surgery.
Plastic surgeons Angela Fausto Souza and Patricia Breder de Barros flew from Rio de Janeiro to attend Khouris Micro-Fat Transfer course in Key Biscayne. They were skeptical.
TRAM flap is the most common form of living tissue reconstruction, said Breder de Barros. We are having great results with it. Her colleague Fausto Souza agreed, it has helped a lot of women in Brazil.
Breder de Barros said there is really not a perfect solution for breast reconstruction. Fausto Souza said choosing a method of reconstruction is a very tough decision for a woman to have to make.
I can foresee a day when a mastectomy wont be necessary and reconstruction can be less traumatic because of oncological improvements, said Breder de Barros. The day when we wont need to be having this discussion will come.
In the meantime, my mastectomy will happen on Thursday.