Latissimus Dorsi Flap


The latissimus dorsi is a broad, flap muscle on the upper back. Along with some overlying skin and fat, this muscle can be detached and transferred to recreate a breast mound. In most patients, the muscle, fat, and skin do not provide enough tissue to recreate an adequate breast mound, and therefore an implant or expander is placed under the latissimus dorsi muscle. Using this technique, extra coverage is provided over the implant, which can result in a softer, fuller, more natural breast reconstruction. This flap is especially useful in patients who have had radiation and are not candidates for (or are not interested in) one of the abdominal flap methods, because it provides the extra skin and soft tissue that a radiated chest lacks. It is also helpful in patients who have had an implant reconstruction, receive postoperative radiation, and develop significant scarring.