What are contraindications for TRAM breast reconstruction?

Updated: Jul 28, 2021
  • Author: Michael R Zenn, MD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: James Neal Long, MD, FACS  more...
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The TRAM flap operation is major surgery not to be undertaken lightly by patient or surgeon. Experience with these procedures for more than 15 years has identified certain characteristics that place patients at higher risk for complications.

As a result of the magnitude of the procedure and degree of stress on the lungs and heart, this operation may unmask baseline cardiopulmonary disease and result in a complicated course. In addition, anything that causes small vessel disease, such as the medical conditions listed above or cigarette smoking, may cause complications in the transferred tissue and in the abdominal donor site. In instances where the above characteristics contraindicate TRAM flap, use another method of reconstruction.

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