Everything You Need to Know About Latissimus Dorsi Flap Breast Reconstruction

The latissimus dorsi muscle is found in the back, just below the shoulder and behind the armpit. The muscle aids twisting motions, like swinging a hockey stick. This muscle can be used during breast reconstruction after mastectomy.

An oval-shaped flap of skin, fat, muscle, and blood arteries from your upper back is utilized to reconstruct the breast in a latissimus dorsi flap operation.

The Latissimus Dorsi Flap Procedure

The latissimus dorsi flap reconstructs the breast by bringing back skin, fat, and muscle. Often, most women lack the necessary back tissue to form the breast, and this procedure frequently necessitates an implant.

Botched implant reconstruction is one of the most typical circumstances for a latissimus dorsi flap — it necessitates the insertion of healthy tissue to heal.

To perform this technique, the latissimus dorsi flap is tunneled through the axilla to reach the chest, unlike a free flap such as a DIEP, and does not require new vascular connections. Flap failure is relatively uncommon.

Ensure you understand the procedure beforehand. Let your specialist in latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstruction Washington D.C. explain every detail of the procedure.

Candidacy for the Procedure

There is typically not enough fat tissue to reconstruct huge breasts. The latissimus dorsi flap can be a helpful alternative for women with small to medium-sized breasts.

No procedure can be done if you have conditions that affect your circulation. If you have uncontrolled diabetes, vascular disease, or connective tissue diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma, you have minimal chance of having the procedure.

Smokers are not good candidates because blood vessels will be moved and reconnected during a tissue flap procedure. Patients who use recreational drugs may be requested to stop smoking for four to six weeks before surgery.

The procedure is good for you if you are an exceedingly skinny person with less tissue in the lower abdomen to utilize (for a DIEP flap).

Exercising After the Procedure

Exercise after breast reconstructive surgery is designed to help you return to your normal activities and range of motion. However, it takes time to recover from surgery. You will most likely be exhausted at first.

The exercises will keep you moving and prevent your shoulder and back from becoming stiff and tight.

Start with some simple exercises. Gradually increase your range of motion over several weeks to give your body time to recuperate. From the day after your operation, you should be able to use your afflicted arm, usually up to shoulder height, for light activities. If there is any reason you shouldn’t do this, your doctor will tell you.

Avoid some motions within the first two weeks to avoid extending your wounds. Don’t be too hard on yourself. When you get comfortable doing simple exercises, you can intensify the motions. Take care of your wounds. If you experience pain, please talk to your physiotherapist, specialist, or breast care nurse.