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The second procedure commonly used for breast reconstruction is the use of a latissimus dorsi flap from the back, with or without a tissue expander or implant. Over the years, this technique has become my primary method for reconstruction. It usually utilizes an expander in a similar manner as previously described but in addition brings additional tissue, skin, muscle and fat from the side or back. This additional tissue allows the surgeon the opportunity to fill in any defects from the mastectomy and allows the surgeon something to mold into a more natural breast shape.
of this procedure is that it requires an additional hour of
surgery and requires a secondary incision on the side or back
of the patient. While not resulting in an ideal result, the
use of the latissimus muscle allows for postoperative radiation
if indeed this is required. The postoperative recovery period
is similar to that of an expander/implant reconstruction,
with 1-2 nights in the hospital and 2-3 weeks off work.