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How Does Latissimus Dorsi Flap Reconstruction Work?


Posted February 04, 2021 in Latissimus Dorsi Flap | 3 minute read

Woman in a white bra

If you need breast cancer treatment, you may be considering reconstruction as part of your recovery. Many women are uncertain about breast reconstruction techniques and the options available. Because no two bodies are the same, the situation surrounding your treatment will be unique to you. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Warren Ellsworth can offer latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstruction at Ellsworth Plastic Surgery.

So, what is a latissimus dorsi flap, and how does this procedure work? Individuals who live in Houston, West Houston, or Katy, TX should contact our office to schedule their reconstruction assessment. We can help you create a new and natural-looking breast.

What is a latissimus dorsi flap?

Flap surgery reconstructs the breast using natural tissue from another part of the body. So, what is a latissimus dorsi flap? The latissimus dorsi is a flat muscle that covers most of the back and extends into part of the upper arm. It is the largest muscle in the upper body. Because there are muscles in the same area that perform similar functions, the latissimus dorsi can be moved for the purpose of breast reconstruction.

The latissimus dorsi flap technique

Latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstruction uses the latissimus dorsi muscle from the back and can bring skin with the muscle to address the mastectomy site. Often, this is combined with an implant to offer a complete breast reconstruction. Sometimes, this technique is recommended when patients cannot use other areas for reconstruction, such as the abdomen. Dr. Ellsworth can review the process in further detail during a consultation.

Patients who live in Houston, West Houston, or Katy, TX, sometimes choose latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction because of the following:

  • Breasts look and feel natural with latissimus covering implant
  • Little risk of failure and loss of flap
  • No incisions to the abdominal tissue

Latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction recovery

Latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction recovery depends on your individual surgical plan. However, most patients can expect some discomfort for several weeks following the procedure. Bandages will be applied to the treatment site, and medications are prescribed to control common side effects. It is normal to feel tired after breast surgery, so it is important not to overexert yourself. Our office can let you know how to build up stamina and when to return to normal exercise.

What to expect during your consultation

To consider latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstruction, the team at Ellsworth Plastic Surgery will give you a comprehensive evaluation. We will take your full medical history, including the details of your breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Ellsworth will also examine your chest wall and breast size to assess which options are best for you. If we believe you can benefit from latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction, we will create a treatment plan moving forward.

Reconstruction using a flap technique

Flap techniques are popular among breast cancer patients for a reason. Latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction is an effective way to naturally rebuild breast tissue following mastectomy. Now you can create a fuller appearance with the knowledgeable experts at Ellsworth Plastic Surgery. If you live in Houston, West Houston, or Katy, TX, speak with Dr. Warren Ellsworth about this technique. We can inform you about latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction recovery, treatment, and more.

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