Latissimus Dorsi Flap breast reconstruction surgery offers what can be an effective alternative for women who may not be eligible for tissue expansion or TRAM Flap reconstruction. This innovative procedure can help women rebuild a natural-looking breast by using donor skin and muscle from the upper back to create a new breast mound. Latissimus Dorsi Flap breast reconstruction does not require complex microsurgery (reconnection of small blood vessels). The Ohio State University Department of Plastic Surgery’s experienced breast reconstruction surgeons are very skilled with this procedure, and are committed to working in a collaborative effort with the other physicians who care for you in order to achieve the best results possible.
Latissimus Dorsi Flap Reconstruction Candidates
Good candidates for Latissimus Dorsi Flap breast reconstruction include patients with an abundance of tissue across the middle part of the back; those who are having an implant breast reconstruction; those who have thin physiques a relatively small amount of breast volume, and patients who are not candidates for other procedures using the body’s own tissue for breast reconstruction.
Patients who have had a thoracotomy or other previous surgery to the chest wall may not be candidates for Latissimus Dorsi Flap breast reconstruction. Those who participate in some sports activities, such as swimming, mountain climbing, and others, may also be better suited to an alternative breast reconstruction procedure. Since this procedure involves the transferral of skin from one area of the body to another, patients considering Latissimus Dorsi Flap breast reconstruction should keep in mind that there will be additional scarring in another area of the body besides the breast region.
If you are not a candidate for Latissimus Dorsi flap breast reconstruction, there are many other alternatives that may be an effective option for you. Our doctors will discuss all of the possibilities with you at your initial consultation.
Latissimus Dorsi Flap Reconstruction Procedure
For many patients, the position of the Latissimus Dorsi muscle, running along the back to the armpit, makes Latissimus Dorsi Flap breast reconstruction an effective procedure to recreate the breast. Tissue taken from this area and relocated to the chest to create a new breast mound is connected to its original blood supply, typically making microsurgery unnecessary and the procedure less complicated. Latissimus Dorsi Flap breast reconstruction involves taking skin and muscle from an area along the back and moving it the area of the breast, creating a “tunneling” apparatus that carries blood vessels from the back to the breast site. This technique keeps the original blood flow intact, and may only require a few vessels to be microsurgically connected, if any. In some cases, an implant may be necessary to achieve the best results.
Latissimus Dorsi Flap breast reconstruction can take from three to six hours to complete and usually requires a one-to-three day hospital stay; however, the exact time of the procedure and length of stay will depend on the physiology of each patient.
Latissimus Dorsi Flap Reconstruction Recovery
There will be a significant amount of recovery time after Latissimus Dorsi Flap breast reconstruction because the procedure involves operation in two different sites, the breast area and the back. There will be some scarring where the donor skin is removed; however, plastic surgeons at the OSU Department of Plastic Surgery are specialty-trained in breast reconstruction and will work diligently to make any residual scarring as light as possible.
Schedule a Latissimus Dorsi Flap Reconstruction Surgery Consultation
If you would like more information on Latissimus Dorsi Flap breast reconstruction, or if you would like to schedule an in-person consultation with one of our reconstructive surgeons, please contact the Ohio State University Department of Plastic Surgery. We will be happy to answer your questions about this procedure and evaluate your candidacy.