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TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction

After undergoing breast cancer surgery, many women feel self-conscious or dissatisfied with the appearance of their breasts. TRAM flap breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure capable of creating a new, natural-looking breast by transplanting tissue from the lower abdomen.

Many women find breast reconstruction to be an emotionally and physically rewarding experience. Dr. Dan Shell is a board certified plastic surgeon with years of experience performing breast reconstruction. Using the TRAM flap technique, he can dramatically improve the aesthetic appearance of your breasts.

Who Is the Right Candidate for TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction?

Breast reconstruction is a very individualized procedure. You may be a potential candidate if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You have previously tried (or do not want) breast implants
  • You have enough abdominal fat to match your remaining breast
  • You do not have a history of abdominal surgery
  • You have realistic expectations of TRAM flap surgery

The TRAM flap breast reconstructive technique may not be ideal for everyone. If Dr. Shell determines that you are a good candidate for TRAM flap breast reconstruction, he will work with you to design a personalized surgical plan to meet your cosmetic goals.


There are numerous factors to consider before committing to any surgical procedure. Below is a list of frequently asked questions associated with TRAM flap breast reconstruction:

What happens during TRAM flap breast reconstruction?

The entire procedure is typically performed in three to five hours and requires general anesthesia. A section of tissue will be removed from the donor site on the lower abdomen and transplanted to the chest wall. The donor site’s blood supply, which remains intact, will then be tunneled under the skin to the chest region, where a new breast mound will be shaped from the donor tissue.

What should I expect during the recovery process?

The TRAM flap procedure will require an inpatient hospital stay of up to one week. Once you have been discharged, you may need a friend or family member to assist you for a few days. The entire recovery process typically takes between four to six weeks. During your follow-up visits with Dr. Shell, he will be able to determine when secondary surgeries can be scheduled.

Are additional procedures required?

TRAM flap breast reconstruction is often the first step in the reconstructive process. Additional revision procedures may be scheduled within two months of your recovery. Nipple and areola reconstruction may also be performed at a later date to create a more natural appearance. Dr. Shell will be able to determine when these additional reconstructive procedures can be scheduled.

What risks are associated with TRAM flap breast reconstruction?

As with all surgical procedures, the TRAM flap breast reconstruction technique does present some degree of risk and uncertainty. Some risks may include adverse reactions to anesthesia, infection, excessive bleeding, seroma and flap failure. Dr. Shell and his staff will discuss these risks in greater detail with you prior to surgery.

Why should I choose Dr. Shell for TRAM flap breast reconstruction?

During your consultation, Dr. Shell will listen carefully to your concerns, ensuring that all treatments are customized to meet your goals. His practice uses the latest technology in a comfortable and confidential setting. Dr. Shell is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and The American Board of Surgery. He is also a member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Schedule Your Consultation

Dr. Dan Shell is a board certified plastic surgeon with years of experience performing TRAM flap breast reconstruction. If you are considering TRAM flap breast reconstruction, he would be happy to sit down with you and explain the process in detail.

His practice serves Northern Mississippi. Contact our plastic surgery practice in Oxford by calling 662-236-6465 to set up a consultation today.

3D Photographic Simulation Brings a New Dimension to Plastic Surgery at Shell Plastic Surgery.

Vectra 3D imaging has revolutionized the way plastic surgeons perform a consultation. Moving beyond traditional photography to a 3-dimensional view allows you and your surgeon to get an extremely accurate picture of the expected results that can be achieved. With this technology, we can see the expected results from multiple angles, as if you were looking at them in person or in the mirror.

Vectra Imaging