Latissimus dorsi (LD) flap


Latissimus dorsi (LD) flap breast reconstruction involves rebuilding a breast shape by moving skin, fatty tissue and muscle from the back (below the shoulder blade) to the chest. Tissue expanders are usually also used to create sufficient breast size.

LD flap breast reconstruction may NOT be the best option if you:

  • do not want a breast implant – breast implants are needed in most cases to recreate breast size
  • have scarring on your back from previous surgeries.

Breast reconstruction techniques which use tissue flaps that rely on a supply of blood may not be suitable for women who smoke. Smokers should stop cigarette smoking and nicotine substitutes for at least 4 weeks before the scheduled operation. This may be a consideration when deciding whether immediate or delayed breast reconstruction would be best for you.

Latissimus Dorsi (LD) flap breast reconstruction


Woman with latissimus dorsi muscle in place.

  • A lattisimus dorsi muscle


Woman with latissimus dorsi muscle swung forward to re–create the new breast.

  • A lattisimus dorsi muscle

Figs. 8.6, 8.7, 8.9, 8.10, 8.13, 8.14 (pp.58-62) from Breast Cancer: The Facts by C. Saunders & S. Jassal (2009), By permission of Oxford University Press,

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