Breast cancer surgery can be a life-saving procedure, but it can also ruin feminine upper body contours and leave many women feeling incomplete and insecure. But thanks to breast reconstruction surgery, such as Latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction, women no longer have to trade their natural curves to be cancer-free.
Latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction is a procedure that uses skin, tissue and blood vessels from the upper back to rebuild the breast mound after cancerous breast tissue is removed during mastectomy surgery.
If one or both of your breasts have been deformed or disfigured due to breast cancer removal, latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction may benefit you. Latissimus dorsi reconstruction is especially appropriate for women who are not candidates for other flap breast reconstruction procedures due to previous abdominal surgery but do not have enough tissue remaining to support breast implants.
If you and your reconstructive surgeon determine the Latissimus dorsi flap procedure is your best breast reconstruction option, your surgical plan will be mapped out, and you will be instructed regarding what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure.
Latissimus dorsi flap surgery involves removing a section of donor tissue from the mid-upper back and transplanting it, along with its blood supply, to the chest area. Blood vessels from donor tissue are tunneled under the skin, and the tissues are then shaped to form a new breast mound on the chest. Due to the complex nature of flap breast reconstruction, the latissimus dorsi technique is usually performed while patients are under general anesthesia.
Once the latissimus dorsi flap procedure is complete, additional stages of surgery, including placement of a tissue expander or breast implant, may be performed to achieve final breast reconstruction results.
Patients who have undergone latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstruction typically spend 1-3 days recovering in our state-of-the-art hospital facility. Once you are ready to go home, you will need help around the house for at least the first few days. The recovery period lasts about 3-6 weeks, and touch-up or additional reconstruction procedures may be scheduled after a few months.
The UNC Aesthetic, Laser & Burn Center is centrally located in Chapel Hill and serves breast reconstruction patients from the surrounding Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Cary, Greenville, Clayton, Fayetteville, Garner, Greensboro, Wilson, Apex, Hillsborough & Sanford areas. For more information about latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction or to schedule a consultation, please call or email us in Chapel Hill, NC.