What is a Latissimus Flap Breast Reconstruction?

Latissimus Flap Breast Reconstruction is a type of flap surgery that makes use of muscle and skin from a patient’s upper back to rebuild breast mounds after mastectomy. Known as the latissimus dorsi muscle, the oval-shaped flap also contains tissues and blood vessels tunneled from the back to the chest area.

The Best Candidates for Latissimus Flap Breast Reconstruction

Patients who are not good candidates for DIEP Flap can be ideal for a Latissimus Flap procedure. However, Dr. Kendall Roehl does not recommend this procedure for women who actively participate in sports such as swimming, mountain climbing, and skiing. In general, the most qualified for this procedure are those who have:

  • Small to medium-sized breasts
  • Thin physiques
  • Abundant tissues found in the upper and mid-back
  • Realistic expectations about the surgery

Risks Associated with Latissimus Flap Breast Reconstruction

Latissimus Flap, like any other surgery, comes with potential complications. Although rare, listed below are some of the most common ones:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Bleeding and infection
  • Fat necrosis
  • Blood circulation difficulty

Preparing for Latissimus Flap Breast Reconstruction

Your preparation for a Latissimus Flap is essential for a good surgical experience and recovery. On your first consultation, Dr. Roehl will inquire about your medical history and conditions to determine if you are fit for the procedure. While there, you are encouraged to ask questions about the surgery. Click here to prepare for your consultation.

Latissimus Flap Reconstruction Length

A latissimus flap procedure takes about 3-6 hours to complete – the length depending on the number of breasts to be done. It is performed under general anesthesia for the patient’s comfort.

After Latissimus Flap Breast Reconstruction

Pain and discomfort are to be expected after the procedure. This will be easily controlled by the medications Dr. Roehl will prescribe. Swelling, bruising, and numbness are also normal, which will subside as you recuperate.

Latissimus Flap Reconstruction Recovery Time

Patients on average will experience a 3 to 6 week recovery period. Patients may be able to go back to desk jobs during their 4th week of recovery if they are feeling well enough. To speed up the recovery process, we recommend that you follow our post-operative instructions.

Latissimus Flap Reconstruction Scarring

The scarring on the back can measure up to 5-6 inches, depending on the amount of skin and muscle transferred. Dr. Roehl will consciously try to place the incision along with the bra straps for easier concealment.

Your New Look After Latissimus Flap Breast Reconstruction

Latissimus Flap breast reconstruction is popular for many women because it provides a natural feel and looks of the breasts – restoring what breast cancer treatment took away from them. For women who are going for a larger breast volume, they have the option to add breast implants along with their latissimus flap surgery.

If you would like to know more about this procedure, schedule a consultation here.


*The content and images on this page are provided with the sole intention of educating potential patients on the procedure discussed above. Results vary per individual and are dependent on our doctor’s consultation prior to the procedure. We strongly recommend undergoing a formal consultation with a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon prior to scheduling and undergoing any surgical or non-surgical treatment.