TRAM flap breast reconstruction (transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous) uses tissue and muscle from the abdomen to reconstruct the breast. This procedure is an inpatient surgery that’s followed by a hospital stay. TRAM reconstruction patients can resume daily activity after six to eight weeks.
DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap breast reconstruction is like a TRAM reconstruction without using muscle. The hospital stay and recovery after a DIEP reconstruction is similar to those following a TRAM reconstruction.
TRAM Flap vs. DIEP Flap
TRAM and DIEP flap reconstructions are both popular reconstruction techniques used after mastectomy. The major difference between the procedures is that the TRAM flap uses abdominal muscle. A TRAM flap patient may lose abdominal strength or experience increased risk of complications like bulging and hernia.