Latissimus Dorsi Flap with Tissue from the Back Explained
Latissimus Dorsi flap reconstruction uses muscle from your back to create a breast. First performed in the 1970’s, latissimus dorsi flap surgery is a standard breast reconstruction procedure. It’s often combined with a breast implant (with or without previous tissue expander, depending on the patient) to create the best appearance. In a latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction, the muscle, skin and fat is “tunneled” beneath the skin to the chest wall to create the breast mound. Since your own body tissue is used, a natural breast appearance results. In women with small breasts, an implant may not be needed in this approach. Like TRAM flap reconstruction, latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction is also called microsurgical breast reconstruction. Not all plastic surgeons perform microsurgical breast reconstruction, either because they do not perform microsurgical procedures or because they are not skilled at the more intricate requirements of microsurgery.
A latissimus dorsi flap procedure is a one-step reconstruction that takes from 2-3 hours to complete, under general anesthesia, followed by a short stay in the hospital. You will have some back discomfort and tightness, but within 3-4 weeks you can return to normal activities. Depending upon your anatomy and desires, the scar can be placed so it’s hidden beneath a bra strap. Most patients do not experience weakness in the donor site as they do with a TRAM flap procedure.
The Best Results of Nipple Reconstruction
Reconstructing the nipple and areola is usually performed after the breasts have healed from mastectomy and reconstruction. Additionally, if you’re undergoing chemotherapy, additional surgery must be delayed until chemo has been completed. When the nipple areolar complex is created, any needed breast revision can be performed during the same procedure. Nipple-areolar reconstruction is performed as a same-day procedure and has a rapid recovery. After your nipple-areolar reconstruction is completed you may choose to have medical tattooing to create the pigmented appearance of a more natural nipple-areolar complex. This is usually covered by health insurance.