Cancer Lesson #21: This could get complicated.
As with any surgery, a TRAM flap can result in complications. Being I am a hopeless nerd, I researched the ramifications of every possible choice before deciding to pursue this type of reconstruction immediately after my mastectomy.
My plastic surgeon responded to this request by providing a detailed explanation of the surgery. Then he described the possible side effects up to and including death. We also discussed other procedures and their possible complications.
I had to fight the urge to giggle though I know it wasn’t funny. It just seemed odd to be considering the possibility of death via reconstruction when I was walking around with a cancer time bomb in my breast.
Besides, death is a possible complication of practically every medical procedure you can name, including many we think of as routine.
For that matter, death is more or less a complication of living.
I could deal with the <1% chance of death by TRAM flap. It was the possible side effects of chemo – puking in particular – that worried me. And the needles. The idea of the needles scared me spitless.
Still, if you’re considering a TRAM, you should be aware of the possible complications, which are listed here: http://tinyurl.com/oyacobe.
As always, I am not a member of the medical community, and nothing I say should be construed in any way as medical advice. Any decisions about your care should be made by you and your doctor. Yada, yada, yada, I know, but I don’t want anyone thinking I can provide guidance about their treatment.
- Life After Breast Cancer: Considering Reconstruction (breastcancer.answers.com)
- Mastectomy, DIEP flaps, and doughnuts, oh my! (kristahaapala.com)
- Well: No Quick or Easy Choices (well.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Breast Friends: Why Angelina Jolie’s Mastectomy Matters (narcissista.me)
- Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy: Is It Right for You? (everydayhealth.com)