Latissimus Dorsi Flap Reconstruction
What is Latissimus Dorsi flap reconstruction?
During this procedure, the Latissimus Dorsi muscle located below the shoulder is used to reconstruct the breast after a mastectomy. The Latissimus Dorsi flap is in reasonable proximity to the breast so that it can be transferred from the back, to re-create the breast whilst using its native reliable blood supply. It may be used to reconstruct a part of the breast (segmentectomy) or to add volume or durable cover to another form of breast such as an ‘implant-based reconstruction'.
What does the procedure involve?
During the procedure, a flap of muscle, ±fat and ± skin are used to reconstruct the breast after mastectomy/segmentectomy. The flap is moved under the skin from the back to the chest and used to re-design the breast.
In some cases, an implant can be placed under the flap in order to achieve a larger breast shape and size. This procedure is usually advised for women with smaller to medium sized breasts.
Following this procedure there will be a slight temporary weakness of the shoulder however, the remaining muscles should take over and with the help of physiotherapy, strength will be restored in due time.
Who is a good candidate for Latissimus Dorsi flap reconstruction?
The procedure is generally a good option for women who are not suited to other types of reconstruction such as an implant-only based reconstruction or for those for which other tissue donor sites such as the abdomen, buttock, thigh, may not be suitable.
This procedure may also be used to add durable cover in an implant based reconstruction or delayed reconstruction in a previously irradiated breast.