Eleven-month update after bilateral mastectomy and TRAM Flap reconstruction

11-month update video

Comparison photos: before, two weeks after and 11 months after bilateral mastectomy and TRAM Flap surgery (sorry, some are gross)

Belly front (11 months following TRAM surgery): belly button is healed; waist scar is pink, healed, a little bumpy, softening up over time.
Belly front (11 months following TRAM surgery): belly button is healed; waist scar is pink, healed, a little bumpy, softening up over time.
Belly front: BEFORE photo (I hate this picture!)
Belly front: BEFORE photo (I hate this picture!)
Belly front (Two weeks after surgery): belly button still hidden by bandages.
Belly front (Two weeks after surgery): belly button still hidden by bandages.
Failed belly button: My belly button didn't want to take shape correctly. This was taken nearly two weeks after my TRAM surgery and the hole continued spreading.
Failed belly button: My belly button didn't want to take shape correctly. This was taken nearly two weeks after my TRAM surgery and the hole continued spreading.
Belly button closed: stitches closed the hole (pictured one month after TRAM surgery). Waistline scar is dark and healing.
Belly button closed: stitches closed the hole (pictured one month after TRAM surgery). Waistline scar is dark and healing.
Belly button healing, two months following TRAM surgery.
Belly button healing, two months following TRAM surgery.
Profile before surgery
Profile before surgery
Profile 11 months after surgery
Profile 11 months after surgery
Profile two weeks after surgery.
Profile two weeks after surgery.
Profile view, right hip (11 months following TRAM surgery)
Profile view, right hip (11 months following TRAM surgery)
Profile view, left hip (11 months following TRAM surgery): skin bulges out a little over tighter scar skin. At end of scar line, skin forms a little chunk of extra skin like a sewing pattern that doesn't quite lay flat.
Profile view, left hip (11 months following TRAM surgery): skin bulges out a little over tighter scar skin. At end of scar line, skin forms a little chunk of extra skin like a sewing pattern that doesn't quite lay flat.
Left breast two weeks after surgery
Left breast two weeks after surgery
Left breast scar (11 months following TRAM surgery): left breast is smaller than right. Scar tissue is thicker/broader in areas where more scabs formed during the healing process. There's barely any hardness remaining inside the bottom of the left br
Left breast scar (11 months following TRAM surgery): left breast is smaller than right. Scar tissue is thicker/broader in areas where more scabs formed during the healing process. There's barely any hardness remaining inside the bottom of the left br
Right breast two weeks after surgery
Right breast two weeks after surgery
Right breast scar (11 months following TRAM surgery): right breast is a little larger than left and still has an extra chunk of skin that sticks out a little on the outside bottom edge. There's still a chunk of hardness remaining inside the bottom ri
Right breast scar (11 months following TRAM surgery): right breast is a little larger than left and still has an extra chunk of skin that sticks out a little on the outside bottom edge. There's still a chunk of hardness remaining inside the bottom ri

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Update details

It's been nearly 11 months since I had my prophylactic bilateral mastectomy and TRAM Flap reconstruction and I'm happy to say, I'm doing pretty well. Gosh, that actually sounded uncharacteristically optimistic. But really, health-wise, I’m okay (kanuhora…that’s my grandma’s way of saying “knock on wood,” but I’ll leave out the three little spits that are supposed to chase away the evil eye). Otherwise, everything else is relative.

Why relative? I’m not as bad off as the people who experienced the earthquake in Haiti, but I also know my family needs to make some financial changes soon.

Between the surgeries and planning my son’s bar mitzvah which is now over, I’ve took off too much time and our finances are paying the price. We live in California which is a very expensive place to reside and it's easy to fall behind in bills as living expenses continue to skyrocket.

Still, I’m very excited to report I was hired recently to write a blog for the Press Democrat. The PD is the daily newspaper in our county and a New York Times newspaper. It’s a dream working for the paper; if only the income was as rich as the experience. I wouldn’t mind so much if not for…

These days, since my husband’s company filed for bankruptcy last year and has cut his hours during this year of restructuring the television station, I need to make more money to help pull us out of our debt resulting from his significantly smaller paycheck which can’t cover all the medical debt we have. His paycheck would be considered large in most any other place except pricey California and even with my new income, we find we are falling behind every month. I really don’t want to fall into that sad category of people who have lost their home and I certainly don’t want to have to move in with my parents! So, if you know of a publisher who’d be interested in my story, please have them contact me (I've already written one book that needs a publisher, after a professional editor looks at it, of course -- that takes money I don't have).

Enough frustrating financial crap. Now, for more recovery details.

Attack of the phantom nipples, stabbing pains and make-me-crazy itching

In the fifth through seventh months after my TRAM reconstruction, a strange thing happened: a phantom effect. Actually, an itchy, phantom effect. First, the phantom body part. Actually, I wonder if other women who have had mastectomies have felt the following as well.

The majority of my new breasts may be numb and I may no longer have nipples, but it still feels like I have them sometimes when they should be reacting to various conditions: cold, arousal, etc. Even if I run my hand across the scarred mound, I still get the sensation the nipple is reacting. Moreover, even though my breasts were gutted during the surgery, I still get some of the “let down” sensation for nursing just as I did when I had natural breasts (even years after I stopped nursing my children).

As for the itchy feeling...Even though my stomach and breasts are numb to the touch, there were a few months when everything was itchy. Unfortunately, scratching the numb surface didn’t relieve anything and it was enough to make anyone crazy frustrated while trying to satisfy that deep itch that wouldn’t go away.

Those deep itches have mostly gone away by now, but return periodically with a vengeance along with sudden sharp stinging feelings that the plastic surgeon said could mean the nerve endings are trying to heal, reconnect, whatever they do.

Caring for fading scars and stretching stomach muscles

The scars are still red/pink, but not as dark red and knobby as they were several months ago. The scars mostly flattened out after massaging Neutrogena Hand Cream (more like a serious ointment than a cream) into all my scars every day after my shower for a couple of months.

I can also sit up straight again without trouble and have done so for a few months. Even so, I still feel tightness in the muscles running from my stomach up to my new breasts. If I try stretching my arms up too high, it may feel like a spring that has been stretched a tad too far; pain strikes sharply in the muscles and I must quickly hunch over to avoid anything more than a few moments of lingering pain.

Lifting is still an issue: Once in a while, I’ll try picking something up that might be a tad too heavy and the newly-placed muscles will snap. I mean, it feels like someone reaches inside my stomach, grabs hold of the repositioned muscles and wrenches them, causing me to bend over in pain.

Another thing to watch out for…if you do lift something, face forward at the object; don’t try to twist your body around to your side to pick something up. I found out the hard way doing that hurts a lot.

Standing still. Moving too much or not enough

Standing still for longer than a few minutes continues to be difficult and tiring. If I’m moving, I’m okay, but standing in one spot for too long can be exhausting and I feel it in my abdomen and up through my torso. Conversely, if I’m moving too much through exercise or hiking up hills and other previously regular activity, my stomach muscles begin hurting and tugging, causing me to hunch forward.

And if you sit too long in one position, when go to stand up, this is an interesting feeling as well. I like sitting with my feet up when I watch some television in the evening. I have to be careful not to sit on my side, otherwise, when I get up, I'll feel the stomach muscle pulling painfully when I get up. Or if I'm sitting at my computer in the kitchen, when I get up from my chair, I look like those museum cave men who take a while to rise to an upright position.

The point is, I have to allow my muscles an adjustment period when changing positions otherwise, you guessed it...pain!

Learning to roll with it

Sleeping is still an odd experience in regard to my stomach scars. I have to be careful about how I flip over from side to side. It takes more care than it did prior to the surgery which means I tend to wake up more at night. If I turn the wrong way, I feel my scars tugging and sometimes it feels as though they will rip open, especially on the ends at my hips. I must roll over as one unit instead of rolling, for instance, my legs first with my torso following; the latter involves too much stretching of the stomach muscles and hurts.

As my skin has relaxed, those scar ends – one more than the other -- have turned into something strange. If you’ve ever done any sewing, the end looks sort of like a corner seam that doesn’t quite lay flat. It’s nothing noticeable when wearing clothes, but it has turned into a bit of a chunk of skin flowing out from the side.

If you get sick

Coughing and sneezing are still painful. The swine flu swept through our home last fall and coughing became a distressing procedure. With every cough, it feels as though someone is punching you in the chest and stomach. Getting sick with a cough is definitely something to avoid. If someone you are talking to is sick, don’t feel obligated to remain a polite distance from them; back up and avoid contact. If you get sick, you will be in great pain. And it doesn’t end when your cough subsides. When you’re not suffering through coughing sessions, your sore muscles will ache; holding your chest will seem like the only thing that can help, but it does no good (read my TRAM Flap joke below).

If you do get sick, one good part about having a numb stomach is it allows you to bring down a fever without experiencing the usual pain. Let me explain. If your mom is anything like mine, when we had high fevers when we were kids, my mom would bring down our fevers by patting our hot-skin body with a washcloth dampened with water and rubbing alcohol; after wetting our skin, she would blow air on the dampened area to cool the skin. We hated this procedure because it would be painful when we had a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, but she would continue until our fever broke: she was always successful at her task.

The good part about having a fever with a numb stomach is that I could bring down my fever by placing my hands (chilled from cold water) on my numb belly. I wouldn’t feel the pain of the temperature difference against my hot skin, yet my fever would drop.

Breast shape and tightness: Several months ago, I mentioned how the tightness of the skin creating the new breasts feels like I am never able to remove a bra. Mostly, it still feels that way, but it seems to have relaxed a bit. Either it has relaxed as the swelling went away, or I’m just more used to it.

Regardless, it was after seeing photos of myself at my son’s recent bar mitzvah when I noticed how my breasts look in a gown. Actually, it wasn’t so much where my breasts are located; rather, the area just above. There’s this strange indentation that wasn’t there before the surgery when more of my chest was filled out by breast material.

Prior to my son’s big event, I had taken little notice of this indentation when I would wear strappy tank tops. Sleeveless tops are required menopause wear during bouts of hot flashes – my southern husband tells me, a southern woman would call a hot flash, “my own personal summer.” Perhaps that’s why First Lady Michelle Obama tends to wear sleeveless dresses and tops – she’s probably going through early menopause and wearing sleeveless tops help her cool down quickly after a hot flash sweeps through her body.

I’ve become a little self-conscious of this shapely change, but I’m still going to wear those sleeveless tops as long as menopause strikes back with hot flashes. It’s been a year and a half since they cut out my ovaries. Currently, either I’m getting used to the hot flashes, or they are becoming less frequent. They still strike the hardest at night. My husband thinks I’m nuts when it’s chilly winter outside and I keep the windows open and the ceiling fan on high. All night long, I’m either burning up or frosty cold. It’s amazing women going through this get any sleep at all. Oh, and does anyone else experience this: sometimes, when a doozy of hot flash is about to strike, I’ll suddenly feel sick to my stomach and that sick feeling washes over my body followed by a wave of heat.

Weight gain and scars: Another thing I’ve noticed since my stomach was stitched up from side to side is that when I gain even a pound or two, I can tell right away. The skin around the long scar becomes stretched tight like you’ve just eaten a massive Thanksgiving meal. And if you let your weight climb a little more, your stomach area begins bulging out on either side of the scar. It’s not pretty and motivates me to get on my treadmill.

Fanny pack bulge: Another strange thing I've noticed happens when I lean over at the waist. Although my belly fat has mostly been removed, when I lean over, I've noticed the muscles start bunching up inside. It feels as though I'm wearing a fanny pack in front and I'm trying to bend over the trapped pack. I feel the muscles repositioning and trying to find a comfortable spot. Very strange feeling.

Emotionally: Once in a while, I still question my choice to have this procedure, but that quickly changes when I think about my children. The kids are used to my strange body and my daughter calls the design of scars a smiley face. I wonder if my son will grow up thinking a woman’s natural body is strange after seeing my thrashed skin. I still worry if my children carry this horrible genetic mutation and I don’t look forward to waiting another decade before my daughter can be tested.

Finally, some TRAM Flap humor

My family knows I'm terrible at retelling jokes, but here's a little TRAM Flap humor I heard from a friend: When I winced and placed my arm across my breasts, my kids asked me what was wrong. "It's okay," I told them. "I just have a stomach ache."

Thank you!

Thanks to everyone for contacting me with comments, questions and stories about your own TRAM Flap and mastectomy experiences. Please continue to let me know how I can help you through this process and if there's any information you'd like more information about.

Comments 26 comments

Sheri 6 years ago

This is a great story and wished I found something like this before surgery. I couldn't much post op info at all when I was researching. I had this surgery in Jan 08. I feel very lucky after reading some of the blogs on line. Right now I am still dealing with some rough scars on the underscar of the breast and a bit square looking compared to other breast. Other breast had a large narcosis on the top. Pre op I was 36 A/B? and thought I was going to be a full C but ended up with DD. I've had 1 post operation to lift the breasts and take out some of the narcosis out which then left an indentation (like a line). I thought at this time he was also going to clean up the rough scaring but he didn't because he said I didn't tell him to when checking in, in the hospital right before the surgery. We had discussed this at various visits before but he said surgeons don't go over notes before surgery, they don't have time. I questioned what those notes were for. No answer that I recall. On the stomach scar new button is great and the side to side scar is OK with little "dog ears" on each side. My stomach really swells, becomes bloated after eating. I can feel my upper intestines fill and it all gets hard. When I asked my PS (plastic surgeon) what was going on he said "I don't know". I expected some kind of feedback since he said he does about 15 of these surgeries a year. I have since seen a different PS to do nipple reconstruct. He spent about an hour talking to me about because of me my children will need to check themselves daily and have med. checks often not just yearly. I heard what he was saying but also felt attacked, like I asked for this to invade my body. He also said you can't go operating trying to fix little things because there is only a little blood supply for all the tissue that was moved and you risk more narcosis or a fix that makes the problems worse. I did like his way of doing the nipple reconstruction by making 3 cuts in the breast, flap them over to make the nipple (in office) and then have the areola (sp?) around tattooed on. The other surgeon would do a skin graft taking the dog ears from the tummy scar to create the nipple which would require healing from the present blood supply. I will have another consultation after the 1st. of the year to be sure nothing else can or could be fixed.before having the nipple surgery. I too experience the sharp little pains but have to say that a good physical therapist has really helped. I didn't realize how much range of motion I was lacking and I also had the rotator cuff problem prior to surgery. You didn't mention if you had any lymph removed. The sleeve for compression really helps and then she also recommended one of those spanks underwear from midriff to knees for compression. I got the Penney's brand. Did you have to do Chemo and drugs, what stage were you? I was stage 1 with a low-medium oncho score. I weighed out the pros and cons of the side effects and chose not to do any chemo and took fomara (sp?) for only a short time as it made all my joints ache really bad. I felt like I 90 yrs old. I ,too, sometimes question my decision for this type of surgery but all the residual effects were not totally explained to me. Good luck with your job and finances. Many people are suffering in these times and it is sad. Take care


Joelle Burnette profile image

Joelle Burnette 6 years ago Author

Sheri, thanks for your story. I'm sorry you had to go through this horrible process. I can't believe the surgeon's comments about not knowing what to do once he entered the OR.

I hope you'll read some of my other stories so you'll understand why I did this when I tell you, I didn't have cancer. It sounds ridiculous every time I consider what I did to my body, but it's because of my BRCA genetic status and having too many relatives who have died from breast cancer. It's because of my own sister who has survived breast cancer twice. It's because of my more than 90 percent chance of getting breast cancer that I took these aggressive steps to make sure I'm around when my children grow up. I hope this doesn't change your opinion of my story.

Thanks again for reading. Let me know how everything turns out.


Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 6 years ago from East Coast

Wow, it's like deja vu! Except I had the bilateral mastectomy with tram flap reconstruction (in February 2009) after being diagnosed with breast cancer and unfortunately had to go through all the chemo and radiation as well. I am BRCA2 positive which is why I chose to do the second breast also and I had a bilateral oopherectomy to remove both ovaries and tubes (good thing I was done with them!) as well.

I too have felt a lot of phantom sensations like you described, but what I felt was the feeling I remember feeling when I was pregnant and the baby moved inside my belly - it felt like a little foot or hand rubbing/pushing me from the inside, very weird! I still get the itches that I can't scratch which drives me crazy!!

It's good to hear someone else talk about having gone through some of the same things...

Cari 5 years ago

I have been having all of these symptoms and scared to death that something horrible was wrong, but now I feel amazingly serene! Knowing that my hard tummy and my unscratchable itches are normal makes me relax more! My surgery was 2 months ago, so now I know not to freak out that I am still healing!

Suzy P profile image

Suzy P 5 years ago

Cari~ I'm right there w/ you! Had my surgery 2 months ago too. Been wondering about these weird sensations..and how long it'll take until I reach my 'new normal'. Time will tell!

Joelle~ Thanks for sharing your experience! It's a really brave thing to do and will be helpful to so many women having TRAM surgery. I am also BRCA positive w/ a strong family history of breast & ovarian CA. While I did a lot of research prior to my prophylactic Bilat Mastectomy/TRAM surgery (Jan '11), for some reason I never researched 'TRAM Recovery'. It's really nice to see this information out here :)

I also had prophylactic oophorectomy a year ago. As you know, It's been quite a journey. And while I was scared to pursue these interventions and voluntarily alter my body forever...I knew it was for the best. I found that knowledge is power & I've met so many people along the way that gave me strength and support that I will never forget. I used to be a very private person, but realized that by sharing my experiences with my family & friends, I gained the confidence to make tough decisions and take action for my long-term health. I will be 40 in a few months, and I'm looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life, free of frequent Dr's appts, labwork, mammograms, MRI's, etc :)

mojefballa profile image

mojefballa 5 years ago from Nigeria

I interesting but a heart feeling story and experience you actually had.Am really feeling for you but i guess everything is normal now and am happy you actually survived this.

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leslipvb 5 years ago

I had bilateral tram flap reconstruction in July. I have since had a second surgery to correct some issues caused by a lack of adhesion from the mesh to my skin. I now have a giant bulge, I look like I'm 7 months pregnant and have numbness and tingling in my legs. As I am currently on my second phase of chemo it seems there's nothing I can do. The bulge is so low that it interferes with my sitting and my back is killing me. Has anyone else dealt with these issues? I have an appointment with my plastic surgeon tomorrow because the incision is now opened, about 4 inches long. I feel I should bring up the issues with the bulging, but I feel like my surgeon is blowing me off due to chemo. Any suggestions?

Ahnoosh profile image

Ahnoosh 5 years ago from Southern California

You're so courageous for posting this! I am six-months out of right mastectomy with tram-flap procedure and just completed my reconstruction. I am doing well, knock on wood. My first round of breast cancer was 18 years ago...and then this year a recurrence. I have recently been experiencing the 'stabbing pains' that you mentioned...i think it's nerve regeneration, but I have them for days at a time, and then nothing. Weird.

Anyways, keep fighting the fight! And thank you for posting. God bless you with good health and happiness! And good luck with the writing job! Woot!

Grace Amponsah 5 years ago

I'm scheduled for tram recontruction for breast very soon,but reading your experience has made me scared.So removal of your belly buttom is part of the the procedure? How long did you actually stay home before returning to work? Im glad everything is perfectly healed but that wasn't an easy trip. May God bless you.

Sue 4 years ago

I am almost 6 weeks out from a tram flap on my right side after a DCIS early diagnosis. Not wanting radiation treatment after a lumpectomy or implants to deal with in later years, I chose to have a Tram Flap.After 5 nights in the hospital, (with a family member staying each night)my husband and older sister became my caretaker team.My recovery has been pretty good, though I began to wonder about my tight tummy and funny sensations.I am comforted to read all of your accounts, realizing I am on a recovery track that will take time.I identified with the "tight rope"feeling of being cinched around my waste. Also the stiff tummy feeling like a pregnancy. I sometimes said it was like Braxton hicks.(An interesting sensation at age 60.)

Thankful for all I have learned from all of you. My Husband of nearly 39 years calls me Mrs.Courageous.Choosing a tram flap qualifies each of us to wear that badge patiently.

Earthy Mother profile image

Earthy Mother 4 years ago from South East England

I'm currently considering this - I think your brutally honest account is very interesting to hear...thank you for posting about your experiences and putting on photos too...I'm still undecided! xx

colleen 4 years ago

Hi, I just went through a pediculed tram flap procedure 2 months ago. I enjoyed your video. It was a procedure from hell and one that I would never go through again. My breast is doing fine, but my abdomen is buldging and rolling and have been to the surgeon twice and was told that Iwould have to live with this, or undergo another major surgery that he pretty much said would not do a whole lot of good anyway. I wish I had waited for delayed breast reconstruction and had the diep flap procedure done that does spare the stomoch muscles. The pain of this procedure was terrible, to be fair it has only been two months, I too have lots of pics, before and after pics. I would post if anyone interested. Thanks

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jdolan 4 years ago

What a great share! Thank you so much. I will be having a bilateral with tram flap done in 2 weeks. I am scared, scared, scared. But as awful as the the recovery sounds, I believe for me it is the best option for me. I also like to swim (was a college level competitor) and hope that that is something I can back to eventually. I also enjoy many of the activities you mentioned, so I feel hopeful. I do not mean to be weird, but although I have not met you, I feel somewhat connected. Your thoughts and situation are more like mine than anyone else's I have met going through this. I thought I was the only one worried about debt and pulling my weight financially. It is a strange sort of guilt. I have a 5 and 7 year old, and I need to be focused on getting healthy for them - so work is on the back burner. My husband is a teacher, and to start, we never lived a life of luxury - so it has been hard - to say the least "living" on one income. Although those pictures were gross, I am glad you shared. It is good to know what to expect. I think in the afters you look great. Thank you so much for sharing!

Gail Mucci 4 years ago

I am at my ten month anniversary of a tran flap mastecomy. My stomach is very hard and looks and feels like I am six months pregnant. If I wear a tight girdle it feels somewhat normal. My doctor doesn't know what is causing it. Another thing I am having phantom feelings in my reconstructed breast. It is very weird. Hopefully this would go away.

Sue Bailey profile image

Sue Bailey 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

It is over 2 years since I had my bilateral Tram flap. I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma which had begun to send out satellite lesions in my right breast. I was so worried it would spread to the left side that my surgeon agreed to remove both.

I still suffer with itching which feels as though it's inside my abdomen and is therefore unscratchable. My breasts failed spectacularly, the patches where my nipples had been went first deep pink then purple and finally black and hard (eschars). The fat from my tummy turned necrotic in places and had to be cut away, shortly after this procedure the fat began to liquefy and run in rivers down my legs. It was disgusting and made me feel ill, especially when infection set in and the smell was unbearable. I was attached to a vacuum machine for 6 weeks following the infection. Eventually the holes healed but inwards so I looked rather as though I had two bagels. I now have silicone implants which I never wanted and these are very small, flat and misshapen. The scarring is really bad and the breasts still go in a little where the nipples were. My surgeon tried on two occasions to make me nipples but they just disappeared both times. I've lost count of the surgeries I've had to tidy things up but my teenage son still has nicer (and bigger) breasts than me! I have had 3D tattoos which from the front look great but from the side can't be seen. My abdomen swells all the time and feels like it could burst - very uncomfortable indeed but I do have a flat tummy. I get weird sharp nerve pains all over as well. I often wish I had just had the bi-lat mastectomy and immediate reconstruction with implants since I've ended up with them anyway. I'm sure cosmetically they would have looked better than what I currently have. More corrective surgery? I'm not sure; certainly not in the immediate future.

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NanciM 3 years ago

Hi Joelle,

When and where was the surgery done, if I may ask?

Thank you!

Joelle Burnette profile image

Joelle Burnette 3 years ago Author


Ovaries/tubes: Oct. 2008

Bilateral mastectomy/TRAM Flap reconstruction: May 2009

All at UCSF, Mt. Zion

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NanciM 3 years ago

Thanks, Joelle.

Is there some other forum we could use to communicate? I have the same procedure scheduled at the same place in about two months. Want to know which doctor, unless you don't mind saying who here.


Joelle Burnette profile image

Joelle Burnette 3 years ago Author

Sure...breast doc: Laura Esserman, plastic surgeon: Robert Foster, oncological gynocologist (ovaries): Lee May Chen.

If you need more info, contact me through my website, JoelleBurnette dot com.

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NanciM 3 years ago

Thanks. Esserman is supposed to be the best. Dr. Chen did a great job removing the plumbing down below. I have a different plastic surgeon, Sbitany.

Tara 2 years ago

I also had this surgery in 2013. Humor & attitude has helped me through it ....all by the grace of God.

One of my jokes is that now my boobs growl when I get hungry :)

Barb 6 months ago

Hi..6 years ago I had a tram with terrible results. Are you aware of a forum for discussion and support?

Joelle Burnette profile image

Joelle Burnette 6 months ago Author

Hi Barb,

Sorry to hear about your TRAM troubles. If you search on Facebook, there are several groups that focus on TRAMs. Most are private and require approval before you can do anything within the groups. Privacy is key and allows for a more open conversation and sharing of photos, stories, and other resources. As well, you may want to check out the FORCE website: http://www.facingourrisk.org/. FORCE offers access to info, local support groups, and solutions.

I hope you find solutions and enjoy good health.

Judith G 3 months ago

I just finished reading your story and realize that although my procedure and recovery is going to be hard I have made the right decision. I have my surgery date for January 23, 2017. I'm scared, worried and afraid for the entire process. I have an awesome family and husband but it's still a life altering experience for us all. My sister who is 44 is HER-2 positive and undergoing treatment currently. She helped me make this decision with our cancer ridden family, I somehow knew I was going to be positive. I am trying to stay body positive for the upcoming procedure and only hope (pray) things go well.

Amy 2 months ago

Thanks for the post. It has helped reaffirm that my choice not to reconstruct is the right one for me.

Mona 7 weeks ago

I had tram flap for 6 months, I feel very tight in my abdomen and feel like swallow a wooden board in it that make me very uncomfortable, i want to know for how long this feeling will release? thanks! Wish you happy new year:-D

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