What is breast reconstruction with latissimus dorsi flap?
Breast reconstruction is a medical procedure to form new breasts after a mastectomy surgery. Reconstruction is done using muscle donor, fat, and skin from the back (latissimus dorsi flap), usually with implants.
What are the benefits of the reconstruction procedure with latissimus dorsi flap?
Breast reconstruction with latissimus dorsi flap is done to regain your breast shape. The donor tissue from your body will give the shape and size of the breast a natural look.
When should I do breast reconstruction with latissimus dorsi flap?
The network donor for the latissimus dorsi flap procedure is taken from the area approaching your chest, compared to the donor of the abdominal tissue, and the blood vessels in this area are generally more solid.
The latissimus dorsi procedure is a reconstruction option that is generally recommended if your surgeon's team assesses that your condition is not suitable for other reconstruction procedures, such as:
- there is not enough donor tissue in your abdomen
- You have had a flap from a previous procedure that didn't work and needed another method
- You don't have access to a plastic surgeon who can perform microsurgery without using a flap
Latissimus dorsi flap is also a preferred procedure for women who have small or medium chest size, because usually back tissue does not contain a lot of fat that can be used to support your new breasts. In general, breast implants must be inserted under the flap to produce the desired shape, size and projection of the breast. The procedure of latissimus dorsi flap will leave a scar on your back, but the surgeon will generally make slices in the area that your bra can cover.
Prevention & amp; warning
What should I know before doing breast reconstruction with latissimus dorsi flap?
Although the general latissimus dorsi flap procedure is recommended as an option for minimally invasive breast reconstruction, this cosmetic surgery has several disadvantages:
You may lose some body strength and function that makes it difficult for you to lift objects and stretch your body. This can affect your ability to do several activities, such as swimming, playing golf or tennis, or turning an object upside down. The latissimus dorsi procedure is generally not an option for use in the reconstruction of both breasts because you can have muscle problems on both sides of the body.
Most women need implants along with latissimus dorsi flap, and some women report their implants feel softer than the front tissue.
The fat texture around the latissimus muscle is more rigid, compared to the fat in the abdominal area, therefore, most women report that the chest resulting from latissimus dorsi reconstruction feels tighter than other breasts.
Furthermore, if you have implants embedded under latissimus dorsi flap, there are some risks similar to implant reconstruction.
What are the alternatives to the reconstruction of dorsi flap?
You can use a bra with pads or bra inserts that can form breasts.
Reconstruction only with implants may be done.
What breast implants should I choose?
The implant is made of a silicone bag that can be filled with silicon (gel /liquid) or saline water. Liquid silicone and saline water will give the implant a more supple and natural appearance. Silicon in the form of a gel will produce breast implants that look firmer and shaped. General silicone gel is recommended for women who will undergo breast reconstruction.
If you don't have enough skin tissue or you have had a mastectomy, your surgeon may need expandable implants.
What should I do before the breast reconstruction with latissimus dorsi flap?
Before running a mastectomy, your doctor will schedule you to consult a plastic surgeon. Generally, your doctor and plastic surgeon will work together to design a strategy for breast reconstruction that suits your condition.
The reconstruction procedure is performed after you have been given general anesthesia. Follow all your doctor's instructions for preparation before surgery, including eating and drinking guidelines, adjusting medication, and stopping smoking.
What is the process of breast reconstruction with latissimus dorsi flap?
The procedure takes around 4-6 hours.
The surgeon will make an oval-shaped incision in your back, usually along the skin folds, and an incision in your breast. Then, he will move the latissimus dorsi muscle that is on the back to the front of your chest to create your new breast shape. If you need an implant, the surgeon will make an incision under the flap and separate the surrounding tissue to make room for the breast bag implant.
What should I do after breast reconstruction with latissimus dorsi flap?
You will be able to go home 2 - 6 days after the procedure.
You can return to your normal routine in 4-6 weeks.
Using a soft and body-made bra will help ease postoperative discomfort. If you have latissimus dorsi flap in both of your breasts, you may have difficulty lifting or pulling your body.
If you have expandable implants, you will be scheduled for a routine consultation with your doctor.
The shape of the reconstruction breast will look natural over the course of the recovery, generally several weeks to a year after the procedure.
- infection in the surgical area (wound)
- mild scarring
- blood clots
Complications of breast reconstruction:
- a lump arises under a surgical wound
- loss of flap
- skin necrosis
- unnatural movements or twitches in the breast reconstruction
- differences in form and appearance
- numbness or prolonged pain around the armpit or inner arm
- a sense of permanent numbness in the wound on the back and on the surface of the breast reconstruction
- shoulders feel stiff
- arms feel weak
Breast implant complications
- infection in the implant
- thickening or tightening of scar tissue
- tangled and sagging implants
- implant tears or punches
- implant rotation (upside down or moving position)
If you have questions relating to the complications of this procedure, consult your doctor for a better understanding.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.