• Latissimus Dorsi Flap experiences?

    Asked by mdybas on Sunday, August 21, 2016

    Latissimus Dorsi Flap experiences?

    I am scheduled for reconstruction on September 30th. I am nervous about it and just wanted to get opinions on it. Were you satisfied with the results? How was your pain? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • debsweb18's Avatar

      It's a tough surgery and a long recovery time. I thought I would be out of work for 2 weeks and ended up being out for 5. I lived and slept in my recliner for weeks. Since this was a do over after an immediate implant at the time of my mastectomy, radiation and lack of symmetry by my 1 St plastic surgeon, I'm glad I had it done.

      over 4 years ago
    • ShortCuts' Avatar

      I had a tram flap reconstruction done in 2012, mine was an 8.5 hour surgery and Recovery was hard. For me I wish I had not done anything. I'm still having issues in my abdomen as well as pain in the reconstructed breast. In hindsight, I would not do it again, not worth it over a boob. Just my own personal experience

      over 4 years ago
    • savingrace's Avatar

      I had the tram flap procedure about nine years ago and I haven't regretted it at all. It was a very uncomfortable recovery but not very painful. I too sleep in a recliner for about the first couple weeks but being able to lay down got better. Everyone is different but like I said with me it was more of an uncomfortable experience than a painful one. I got extremely constipated and that was the worst. But I'm really satisfied and glad I did it. Wishing you the best!

      over 4 years ago
    • janec0488's Avatar

      Flap reconstruction went well 16 years ago. I wish I had accepted the radiation therapy to do the clean-up work. Facing a recurrence high under my right arm. Requires chemo to to shrink local / regional lymph-node tumor. Any one out there with similar experience?

      over 4 years ago
    • Pinny's Avatar

      I had my Lat Flap surgery on my right side two years ago. I didn't have much pain but I did have trouble using my arms. I went for PT and I have 100% mobility now. Plus, my PT lady ( and you do want a female) massaged my scar which helped me immensely. Unfortunately, though, I did not have much skin to work with so my Lat Flap side with the implant doesn't look like a normal breast. My other side had to have the implant removed because of infection so basically I'm lopsided. If I had to do it all over, I would not go through the expanders and reconstruction. I'd remain flat. Too many infections and problems. Sorry but you should go into any surgery with your eyes wide open to what could occur.

      over 4 years ago
    • MST59's Avatar

      I had a Tram flap 13 years ago. I didn't do the reconstruction initially after my mastectomy. I was too scared about everything happening to me and the shock. I finished chemo and radiation first and then had surgery again 2 years later. Maybe not ideal but its what I did.
      I am very happy with my results. I am even and look very normal in clothes etc. I don't remember alot of pain. It was more uncomfortable as others have said and I was tired. I took 6 weeks off from work.It was good to rest and read until I felt like myself again.
      I am very glad I did the reconstruction. I recommend you do it.

      over 4 years ago
    • Donnabakins' Avatar

      I had this procedure done four years ago. I want to give you an honest answer to your question, as I wish I had been given.

      My back was compromised already due to scoliosis. I now have three herniated discs and chronic pain from Latissimus Dorsi reconstruction. the nerves were not clipped and the muscles still think they are in my back. This causes spasms in my chest which are visible, embarrassing and painful.

      I've heard some women say they've had no trouble, while others are like me. I don't know what makes the difference. My internist told me only older plastic surgeons are using the technique.

      Best of luck to you!

      over 4 years ago
    • mofields' Avatar

      There are the couple of questions whose answers could change my answer to this question: first, just one side or both? second, did you undergo radiation at all? I am had lat flap surgery on my left breast in 2014. I did not undergo chemo, but had a mastectomy with an expander put in because they knew I probably would be undergoing radiation at some point. Well that did happen, 33 rounds of it. During that treatment I had skin problems, which meant I should wait at least a year before we did any type of reconstruction.

      Jump ahead 4 months post radiation - I started having skin reaction to the radiation and my plastic surgeon recommended we do the reconstruction before my thinning skin broke open at my mastectomy scars (causing a whole mess of problems we didn't want to experience).

      Now, due to my skin issues, the only reconstruction option was the back flap. We estimated the logical size for the implant (I went saline) and had the surgery where my PS also tweaked the healthy breast. Surgery took a while (6+ hours), but the recovery has been fine - nearly the same as the mastectomy (2 drains - yech) and out of work about 5-8 weeks with the same kind of pain management. The only problem is that the healthy side grows and changes as it should, while the flap side does not. In hindsight, we could have gone bigger on the implant, but it is kind of guesswork. The upside is that the cancer is gone and I have a mastectomy insert that I got in the months prior to the surgery to balance me out in clothing. Now I use that "foobie" at work or places where I want to look normal. I could have another reconstruction surgery to exchange the implant, but at this point I don't want to have another one, and I have a high deductible insurance now that impacts that decision.

      You do end up with scars. On my breast the scars look like a giant closed eye, or a football, and across one side of my back runs about a 6-7 inch scar (I call that my shark bite). Hope all this helps your peace of mind.

      over 4 years ago
    • sheila56's Avatar

      I had the lattisimus dorsi flap 1 June 2016 and am still recovering. I had to go with this reconstruction because my skin was previously radiated and just finally broke down, exposing the implant and giving me a nasty infection. My back is still a bit sore because I am still getting fills for my expander. The surgery is long and my recovery from work was 6 weeks. After returning to work my instructions were to take it easy; no lifting over 5 to 10 lbs for a while. Its now 3 months since the surgery and I still don't lift any more than that amount just playing it safe. I work in my yard but slowly. I find I do everything slower than before the surgery. Plus I am older and don't find the need to rush too much. The breast XXX looks like a football and the scar on my back is hidden by my bra. It is healing nicely and will disappear I am sure in time. I put a moisturizing cream on both scars. I did not get any PT; the nurse at my PS' office said I didn't need it; that I could stretch on my own and that's what I do. Again, I take it easy, listening to my body. There is no rush to stretch and in time I feel I will have my full range of motion back; I am nearly there. Plus I have another surgery once the expander is as full as I want it. Hope this helps.

      over 4 years ago
    • janec0488's Avatar

      I had two smallest size saline implants put in 16 years ago and doing great. The surgery went well, I look 'normal' and no issues.

      over 4 years ago

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