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Out of Town? Visit Monterey for Your Next Surgery

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Latissimus Dorsi Flap Breast Reconstruction

Published on February 16, 2017

Patients with breast cancer often go through a breast reconstruction procedure after the malignant tissue in the region is removed through mastectomy. Designed to correct the chest wall deformity, the breast reconstruction procedure has evolved tremendously through cutting-edge innovations in the world of plastic surgery in the last couple of decades.

The idea behind breast reconstruction is to correct the anatomical defect arising from removal of cancerous breast tissue and restore the symmetry and shape of the original breasts. One highly effective method of breast reconstruction is latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstruction.

What Is Latissimus Dorsi Flap Breast Reconstruction?

The latissimus dorsi is basically a muscle located just below your shoulder blade in the back and is associated with facilitating twisting movements of the arm. The latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstruction procedure incorporates the use of an oblong section, or flap, of skin, muscle, blood vessels, and fat from the upper-back region to restore the form and shape of the breast.

First introduced in the year 1970, the LD flap procedure helps in providing a natural shape and texture to the target breast. The fact that the surgery makes use of your own body’s tissues is why the shape and texture are so natural.

How Is the LD Flap Reconstruction Surgery Carried Out?

The LD flap reconstruction surgery usually takes around three to four hours to perform. It is typically carried out under the effect of general anesthesia, which means that the patient will stay asleep and without pain for the entire duration of the operation. Since two simultaneous sites are to be operated in this procedure, it is advised to get it done by an experienced and skilled surgeon.

Your doctor will begin by making an incision in your upper back, below your shoulder blade. Depending upon the requirement of the specific case, the incision can be placed horizontally or diagonally.

Next, an oval-shaped flap of blood vessels, skin, fat, and muscles is pushed under the skin towards your chest area through a subcutaneous tunnel. Since both the veins and the arteries of the operated flap are left attached to their original supply of blood in your back, there are negligible chances of any post-operative complications.

After this transfer, the breasts are reconstructed using this tissue flap. Sometimes, the reconstruction is carried out in conjunction with placement of artificial breast implants to further enhance the final appearance of the breast.

The Breast Reconstruction Recovery Process

You will be required to refrain from indulging in any strenuous activities for a couple of weeks during your recovery; after this period, you can resume your regular workout routines and any other physically taxing activities. You doctor might prescribe certain medications to provide relief from any post-operative pain or discomfort.

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Dr. Morwood has over 20 years’ experience as a plastic surgeon, he is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, he is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and for years he has served as either the chief or vice chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery of Monterey.

For more information about Dr. Morwood or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us here.

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