Immediate breast reconstruction using the transverse abdominal myocutaneous island (TRAM) flap was performed in 54 patients over the past 3 years at our institution. This represented approximately 59 percent of patients undergoing all types of immediate breast reconstruction. In 10 patients, the abdominal island flap was transferred as a free flap based on the deep inferior epigastric pedicle. These patients were compared with the other 44 patients, in whom the flap was transferred using the conventional technique. The TRAM flap is well suited for immediate breast reconstruction because the procedure can be carried out simultaneously with mastectomy using separate operating teams and instruments. The operation is safe and relatively free of complications. The free TRAM group compared favorably with the conventional group in terms of complications, operating time, estimated blood loss, hospitalization, and return to functional baseline. The free TRAM flap appears to be as safe as the conventional technique with the advantages of a more limited rectus muscle harvest, improved medial contour of the breast due to the lack of tunneling, and perhaps a healthier flap because of the large donor vessels. © 1989 American Society of Plastic Surgeons.