- Cancer Information
- Managing side effects
- Breast prostheses and reconstruction
- Breast reconstruction
- Flap reconstruction
- Flap from the back (LD flap reconstruction)
Flap from the back (LD flap reconstruction)
The latissimus dorsi (LD) is a muscle on the back under the shoulder blade. The surgeon moves this muscle and some skin and fat from the back around to the chest to make a reconstructed breast.
This reconstruction can be completed in one operation, but the surgeon will usually place an implant under the flap to create a breast that is similar in size to your remaining breast. If you have a tissue expander, the surgeon will begin the expansion process after the flap has healed. Unless you have a nipple-sparing mastectomy, the areola and nipple are created in a separate operation.
The scar on the back is usually straight and can be covered by your bra strap. The scar on the breast will vary depending on the type of mastectomy you had.
Some surgeons use a scarless LD flap reconstruction method that avoids a scar on the back. The mastectomy scar is reopened and special instruments are used to bring the latissimus dorsi muscle forward toward the breast. Ask your surgeon if this is suitable for you.
Woman with an LD flap reconstruction
After the reconstruction you will have a scar on your breast.
A/Prof Elisabeth Elder, Specialist Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, Westmead Breast Cancer Institute and Clinical Associate Professor, The University of Sydney, NSW; Dragana Ceprnja, Senior Physiotherapist and Health Professional Educator, Westmead Hospital, NSW; Jan Davies, Consumer; Rosemerry Hodgkin, Consumer; Gillian Horton, Owner and Director, Colleen’s Lingerie and Swimwear, ACT; Ashleigh Mondolo, Clinical Nurse Consultant Breast Care Nurse, Mater Private Hospital South Brisbane, QLD; Dr Jane O’Brien, Specialist Oncoplastic Breast Cancer Surgeon, St Vincent’s Private Hospital, VIC; Moira Waters, Breast Care Nurse, Breast Cancer Care WA; Sharon Woolridge, Consumer; Rebecca Yeoh, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland.
The photograph above has been reproduced with permission from Breast Cancer: Taking Control © Boycare Publishing 2010.
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