Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center offers the latest techniques in breast reconstruction, including the use of back tissue. With many different options for breast reconstruction, it’s important to have a resource you can trust. Our caring team of experts is here to answer any questions you may have as you explore breast reconstruction surgery.
Breast reconstruction may use back tissue from your latissimus dorsi muscle, which is located just below your shoulder and behind your armpit. In a latissimus dorsi (LD) flap, an oval patch of skin, fat, muscle and blood vessels is removed from your upper back to rebuild the breast.
The tissue from your back is moved to your chest with the arteries and veins still attached. However, most women do not have enough fatty tissue on their backs, so an implant or tissue expander is often used. The process to use a tissue expander can take several months.
The LD flap leaves a scar on your back, which most surgeons can hide under your bra strap. Patients generally have favorable results, with no major long-term problems. On average, women recovering from an LD flap stay in the hospital for four days with average recovery of three to four weeks to return to normal activity.
It’s important to follow instructions from your doctor before, during and after your procedure. This will lower your risk of complications. Tell your doctor immediately if you think something is wrong.
Potential side effects of an LD flap:
If you have questions about what to expect from breast reconstruction surgery or any other breast cancer concerns, Banner MD Anderson’s experienced team of physicians is here to help.