Latissimus Dorsi

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Breast Reconstruction Using the Latissimus Dorsi Muscle Flap

The two most common autologous tissue reconstructions are the deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap and the latissimus dorsi muscle flap (muscle and back fat). Latissimus dorsi muscle flap reconstruction often requires an implant in order to achieve the desired volume.

The surgery involves harvesting the latissimus muscle along with skin and fat from the back. The latissimus dorsi muscle is the largest muscle in the back and responsible for extension and internal rotation of the shoulder joint. It is often used in various plastic surgery reconstruction procedures and does not result in any noticeable weakness. The patient often has a scar that is well hidden within the bra line. It is a more attractive option for patients who do not have enough abdominal tissue. The surgery is shorter and the recovery is faster than the DIEP flap reconstruction.

What is the recovery process?

The latissimus dorsi muscle flap reconstruction takes about 4-5 hours per breast. It will require 1-2 days in the hospital. Patients will have two drains, one in the breast and one for the back. The overall recovery time is between 2-3 weeks.

Who is a candidate?

Patients are a candidate if they have had radiation treatment on their breasts and do not have enough abdominal tissue for a donor site.

Length of Surgery: 4-5 hours per breast

Anesthesia: General Anesthesia

Length of Stay: 1-2 days in the hospital

Recovery time: 2-3 weeks

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