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Center for Breast Reconstruction

Latissimus Flap with Implant

The latissimus flap with implant might be a good procedure for you.

What is Latissimus Flap?

Latissimus dorsi myocutaneous (LD) flap is a type of breast reconstruction surgery that utilizes the muscle, fat, and skin from the upper back.

The latissimus flap is lifted from the back area and rotated around to the chest area through a small tunnel on your side.

The tissue stays attached at all times to its blood supply from the arm pit area. With the latissimus flap, often there is not enough tissue volume (fat) in the back to create a full breast mound so a small implant is often required.

The latissimus flap with implant might be a good procedure for you if you have had radiation to the chest in the past. The radiation may damage the chest skin and muscle. Adding the healthy, well perfused skin and muscle of the latissimus flap can help mitigate the risks associated with radiation.

Diagram of latissimus procedure

A latissimus flap may be a good option for you if you don’t have enough tissue available in other parts of the body, (i.e., abdomen, buttocks, thighs) to create a new breast. The procedure is longer than implant surgery alone. It involves healing of more than one wound. It requires at least a one-night hospital stay.

Things to Consider

  • Not all breast reconstructive surgeons have the expertise to perform this complex procedure. ChristianaCare’s Stephanie Caterson, M.D. is very experienced in flap procedures and has performed more than 400 latissimus flaps.
  • The latissimus muscle is a shoulder strength muscle, and there is risk for mild shoulder weakness after surgery. Physical therapy may help you get back to full function.
  • Since this procedure usually involves an implant, the risks of implant-based reconstruction are present here as well.

Contact Us

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call our office at 302-623-3605.

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