The latissimus flap (latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap) is another reliable method of breast reconstruction. This procedure uses muscle and skin from the back to reconstruct the breast. The latissimus flap is transferred through a tunnel in the armpit from the back to the front and placed at the site of breast restoration. Sometimes it is necessary to place an implant or tissue expander under the latissimus flap to achieve the most desirable result.
|During the latissimus surgery donor tissue is taken from the back and tunneled to the area of the chest where the new breast is being constructed.||The grafted tissue is given time to heal before the areola and nipple reconstruction surgery takes place. The tissue expansion technique may also be employed after the back flap tissue is in place to increase the size of the new breast.|
For patients anticipating the need for further radiation therapy following breast reconstruction, the latissimus flap method offered at our New Jersey reconstructive surgery center may be more effective than the use of tissue expansion and implant insertion alone. Implant insertion in a radiation setting can be problematic as skin will not expand once it’s radiated and thus, this method can produce less than optimal results. In the latissimus method; however, the extra tissue of the latissimus muscle allows for protection and can prevent potential problems with the radiation. Additionally, for many radiation therapy patients, the latissimus flap method produces the fastest healing time and the lowest rate of complications.