Army wife...about Tram

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 826
   Posted 5/6/2006 11:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I just read your roll call and saw your request for info on a Tram flap surgery.  I just had mine in January.  It was very difficult and painful, but worth every minute.  I have no regrets.
I was in the hospital for 3 days.  I came home with 3 drains (which is the hardest part).  Two drains came out a week or so after the surgery, but one stayed in for a little over 2 weeks.  It took me 3 weeks to be able to even come close to standing a little straight.  The first 2 weeks, you can't stretch at all.  It was very hard on my back.  The skin is very tight and mine was painful to the touch for over 2 months.  Even now, I don't like to have pants the go all the way to the waist.  I like the hip-huggers that are back in style. 
My surgeon said I could start stretching my arm after 2 weeks.  It was harder this time to get back to being straight than after the lymph nodes were removed.  I don't know why.  I still feel tight and can't quite get my arm totally straight, but it's close.  I could also start to resume walking after 2 weeks, but slowly and a little at a time. 
I slept on an incline for several weeks - maybe 3 or 4, I can't really remember.  Either that or with pillows under your knees, because you can't straighten out. 
Just remember that for at least 2 weeks, you can't do anything but lounge around the house.  You must give yourself that time to heal.  You said you were moving 9 weeks after the surgery and need to drive.  I went back to work after 6 weeks, so you should be fine with that.  Just don't lift anything!
I hope this helps you.  Let me know if you have other questions.  You can email me directly at
L & H,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 5/7/2006 9:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I slept in a recliner for a long time because that was most comfortable for me. Kathy gave you good information. I just want to add not to do anything you know will hurt you. I doubt you will be able to lift much but I want to caution you not to push yourself and do it even when it hurts. Listen to your body and listen hard. Take care of yourself so you don't develop any problems.
Hugs MK

army wife
New Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/8/2006 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for ladies for the information. I have researched about all the "medical" aspects of the procedure, just haven't "talked" to many people who actually have had it done. I am fortunate the Military provides and pays for the packing, moving, etc., so I will just have to contain my natural instinct to do as much as I can!
I just hope this information will be put to good use. I've had some pain in the rib area of the Mastectomy side, which I have attributed it to Radiation, surgery, etc. I just had a CT/chest X-ray in the ER 2/06 for a breathing complication from nitrus used during oral surgery, and everything was fine.
I just had a bone scan on Friday at the request on my Onc due to "point" tenderness in my  rt rib he noticed during my exam. Needless to say I am anxiously waiting for a call with the results. confused I've had shin/knee bone/muscle tenderness since before my diagnosis of BC, had PET and everything was clear at that time. My Onc now things I also have Fibromyalgia, which really is a problem for me, as I am the "do everything, high energy, exercise" girl. Now it's hard to even find the motivation to clean house, exercise, etc.,  which isn't helping the 35lbs I gained during treatment!  nono  I  keep telling myself that we will deal with whatever happens, but I'm terrified of the thought of mets. I have a 15 year old daughter who is very close with me and needs me (and a 19 year old son in college, who has found it easier to distance himself). I know there are so many of us with children, and young children who are in the same boat.
Well, thanks again, it's hard for me to open up like this as I am the "strong positive one" who takes care and supports everyone else!
Oh.... and to gma- I was born in Dayton, moved to Bay Village (east side of Cleveland) when I was 2, went to Univ of Toledo at 18 (1979), married at 22 in 1983 and lived in West Palm Beach Fla for 9 months then moved to Columbus OH (Westerville actually) and stayed there until my son graduated in 2005 (still trying to sell my house...double house payments...OH JOY!. I divorced in 2000 ( couldn't compete with the 20 year old secretary who reminded my husband so much of me!!!), remarried a wonderful man in 2004, who I have known for 30 years, and a friend of my ex husbands family.....I never seem to take the easy route!!!LOL. His sister was my best friend who died of BC at age 47 in 2003. Due to joint custody rules, I comuted every 2 weeks from 2004-2005 when my son graduated and my ex husband relented and let my daughter come to Texas with me. (Ohio has one of the most strict relocation laws)! That's only part of my most of us I could write a book!!!LOL
Take care to all, good luck to all, and love to all.......Nancy

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 188
   Posted 5/9/2006 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nancy, and welcome. I had a double mast about a month ago, and I too have rib cage pain. It seems to occur when I am stretching my arms up. But it comes and goes, and is in different areas. I've always thought it was due to nerve or muscle damage. Does this sound like your pain?

There are no wrong turnings, only paths we did not know we were meant to take - Guy Gavriel Kay

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 5/12/2006 6:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I am trying to figure this out. You lived in Westerville for a long time, I think? We have two members who live there. Peg V. is finishing up graduate studies in marketing this semester and has not posted in awhile. I hope we hear from her soon. I'm not real positive about the other name, so rather than be wrong I will just say she doesn't post much now. My short term memory is going, lol. But now I am puzzled because you say something about living in TX which is where I am. I am near Fort Worth. So please help set me straight where you are. Many of us have moved around, my husband spent ten years in the Navy so we moved years ago. I always wanted to write a book about my experiences in life, but I am getting a little too old to realize that dream. I am the oldest around here anymore. Hugs, MK

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