This week , James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.
Question: I’ve been told I cannot get Trans Flap surgery because I am overweight. In fact, the practice said there was nothing they could do for me. Is that so for you also?
Answer:It is true that a person’s weight can be an important factor in the chances for serious complications during breast reconstruction. Specifically for a TRAM flap procedure the risks can potentially be life threatening! One of the most serious complications that can happen with any surgery is a blood clot in the leg veins that can become a blood clot to the lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolus. It is true that the risk for this type of blood clot is increased in people who are seriously overweight. It does not mean that a patient has to be their ideal weight but at a certain weight the risk goes up. In order to completely answer your question I would need to know how much you weigh and how tall you are. Also your overall health and any other medical problems like diabetes or high blood pressure. If you were also a smoker that has a major impact on the risks. We look at each patient’s body mass index to determine if we should have the patient lose weight before surgery. We also like to evaluate each individual and the overall situation not just the weight alone. The body mass index is a general guide and we work with each patient to determine individual goals for their weight in order to make sure the risks are as low as possible. I hope I answered your question, let me know if you need more information.
Thanks for your question!
-James E. Craigie, MD
Have a question about breast reconstruction or post-surgical care you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask us!