• Share this page:
Just Diagnosed with Cancer? Chat with Experts

Breast Reconstruction FAQs: TRAM Flap Reconstruction

Learn more about body tissue, or autologous, breast reconstruction. Our Breast Cancer Comics explain what to expect from TRAM flap breast reconstruction.

By PJ Hamel

With Breast Cancer Comics by Dash Shaw 

Published Thursday, May 31, 2007

TRAM flap

Breast Cancer Comics: TRAM Flap Four Square

Q. Where do they take the tissue from for autologous breast reconstruction? Do I have a choice?

A. Fat and muscle will be taken most commonly from your belly (a TRAM flap, which stands for transverse rectus abdominis muscle); or from your upper back (a LAT flap, latissimus dorsi flap). When you hear doctors or other women who’ve had the operation referring to their “tram” or “lat,” that’s what they’re talking about: where the tissue came from.

In some cases, tissue can be taken from your buttocks, hips or thighs. But these locations are much less common; chances are you’ll be getting a TRAM flap or LAT flap, with the TRAM flap the first choice offered, if you qualify.

Q. How do I qualify for a TRAM flap?

A. Easy–you have to have sufficient belly fat, something most of us aren’t lacking! And that’s the really great thing with a TRAM flap–you get a tummy tuck at the same time. Trying to exercise away that annoying roll around your middle? Have a TRAM flap, and it disappears from your belly, and becomes your new breast–cool, huh?

If you don’t have sufficient belly fat, you’ll probably be offered a LAT flap, which takes tissue from your upper back, over your shoulder blades–just about where someone would pat you on the back, if they were congratulating you.

If, for some reason, neither a TRAM flap nor LAT flap is right for you, your surgeon will discuss other parts of your body–probably buttocks, hips, or perhaps thighs–that might be suitable to use.

Next Reconstruction FAQ: LAT Flap? What's a Flap? 

Also, Breast Cancer Comics: LAT Flap Four Square

  • Reasons For Sore Breast
  • Breast Cancer And Shoulder Pain
  • Tram Flap Abdominal Wound Delay
  • Cpt Code Delayed Breast Tram Flap
  • Delay For Tram Flap Reconstruction
  • Nipple Reconstruction After Breast Cancer

Ask a Question

Get answers from our experts and community members.

View all questions (6967) >