This procedure can be performed when the quality of the chest skin is not good enough to support an implant alone, and when the morphology of the chest, and the size and the shape of the contra lateral breast lend themselves to the procedure. A flap is made of tissues vascularized through their own vessels, artery and vein, and, contrary to a graft, the flap is immediately living.
This reconstruction technique combines a latissimus flap and an implant in order to reach volume and a natural fall. The scar situated in the back will be hidden under the bra and will be as discreet as possible.
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and lasts between 3 and 5 hours. Patients usually stay 5 nights in the hospital.
The first step of the surgery is performed on the side, and consists of removing the flap through a horizontal incision which will be hidden under the bra. In the second part, the patient is in a semi-upright position so that the surgeon can preview the result in a standing position.
After the procedure
The garment is changed on the 2nd day and replaced with a soft sport front-fastening bra, which will be worn for at least 1 month. Drains will be left in place in order to reduce any bruising and they will be removed between the 3rd and the 6th day after surgery. The pain, which is of variable intensity, is always treated preventively and accordingly to the needs of the patient. In most cases, the unilateral sampling of latissimus dorsi does not create any significant functional discomfort in everyday life.
It is highly recommended that postoperative physical therapy be undertaken rapidly in order to return to an optimal mobility in the arm and to reduce the risk of postoperative pains.
The reconstructed breast is supple and more or less voluminous. Over time, its evolution will be the same as the natural evolution of the contra lateral breast. The implant should be replaced after about 10 years.
A symmetrization of the contra lateral breast may be considered about 3 months after a latissimus flap reconstruction, breast ptosis or breast reduction, as well as a reconstruction of the areola and the nipple.
The first shower is permitted the day after the surgery but baths should be avoided during the first month. The scars need to be protected from the sun for the first year following the surgery!