Breast Reconstruction: Latissimus Dorsi Flap
During a Latissimus Dorsi flap procedure, an oval section of skin, fat, and latissimus dorsi muscle is detached and drawn through a tunnel under the skin to the breast area. Blood vessels remain attached whenever possible. The tissue is then shaped to form a natural-looking breast. If there is a need to cut blood vessels, these are reattached by microscopic surgery to blood vessels in the chest area.
Because the Latissimus Dorsi flap is usually thinner and smaller than the TRAM flap, this procedure may be more appropriate for reconstructing a smaller breast.
The Latissimus Dorsi flap procedure typically takes two to four hours of surgery under general anesthesia. Typically, the hospital stay is two to three days. You can resume daily activity after two to three weeks. You may have some temporary or permanent muscle weakness and difficulty with movement in your back and shoulder. You will have a scar on your back, which can usually be hidden in the bra line. You may also have additional scars on your reconstructed breast.