Latissimus Flap Breast Reconstruction

Latissimus flap breast reconstruction can provide support and contour for patients who are not ideal candidates for the more common methods of reconstruction. The latissimus flap procedure may be able to reconstruct a breast for smaller-breasted women without the need for implants.

A number of conditions may contribute to the need for a latissimus flap breast reconstruction such as a radical mastectomy, a lumpectomy that removes a significant amount of breast tissue, or a serious chest trauma.

When to Consider a Latissimus Flap Breast Reconstruction

Good candidates for the latissimus flap breast reconstruction procedure are healthy women who may not be good candidates for standard breast reconstruction. Patients may require a breast reconstruction following:

  • Single or double mastectomy
  • Severely damaging lumpectomy
  • Chest injury

A number of factors may limit the healing process such as smoking, serious medical conditions, and the use of certain medications. Women with back problems, back scarring or previous armpit surgery may not be good candidates for this procedure.


What are the steps of the latissimus flap breast reconstruction procedure?

The proper areas over the breast and the latissimus dorsi muscle of the back are clearly marked prior to the procedure. Intravenous sedation or general anesthetic is administered to provide patient comfort. A large flap of latissimus dorsi muscle with its overlying skin and fat is cut out and elevated. A tunnel is then made between the back and the breast area to tunnel the muscle flap.

An implant is inserted, if desired, through a small incision on the breast. The flap is attached through this small incision, along with its intact blood supply. The incisions are closed using fine sutures to minimize scarring.

How long is recovery following the procedure?

Bandages are applied to the incisions and a tube is inserted if needed to drain any fluid buildup. A compression garment may be recommended to limit swelling, bruising and migration of the implant.

Typically patients will stay in the hospital for 3-4 days. Within a few weeks the swelling will go down and the results may be clearly seen. Stitches may be removed over the next 1-3 weeks, while normal activities can generally be resumed in 3-6 weeks.

Will there be scarring from a latissimus flap breast reconstruction?

This procedure leaves patients with two scars. The smaller scar will be located on the breast and the larger on the back. The back scar may range from 10-15 cm and is commonly placed underneath the bra line. Fine sutures will be used to minimize incision lines, which will continue to fade for over the course of six months.

How will I feel after the procedure?

In addition to the immediate pain from swelling that may occur in the first few days, there may be additional discomfort in the back and under the arm for 2-6 weeks. This discomfort may be treated with prescription medications to ensure patient comfort.

Are there any possible complications?

This procedure carries the risk of fluid buildup, loss of the latissimus flap, muscle weakness and complications from the breast implants. As with all other surgical procedures, there is also the chance of infection, bleeding and poor wound healing.

Learn More About Lat Flap Breast Reconstructions in Tampa

For more information about latissimus flap breast reconstruction, or to schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Mosiello, contact the Tampa office at 813-631-1500. Our Tampa Palms office is conveniently located in New Tampa, near Wesley Chapel. Dr. Gerard Mosiello is a board-certified plastic surgeon serving Tampa Palms, New Tampa, Wesley Chapel, and the entire Tampa Bay area. He has expertise in a wide range of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures, including breast augmentation and  enhancement, breast lift surgery, breast reconstruction, facial rejuvenation, and body contouring.


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I love Tampa Palms Plastic Surgery ~ Dr. Moseillo, Mary, Nancy & Paula. I had breast cancer and reconstruction with Dr. Moseillo several years ago and knew I would never let anyone perform surgery on me other than him. I decided I wanted to do an Upper Blepharoplasty (upper eyelid surgery). I had the surgery a few months ago, am now at my summer home in Maine and everyone is commenting on how great I look. They have no idea that I had anything done! I keep hearing, “you have amazing eyes”. I am so thrilled with the results, feel 10 years younger and if you’re thinking about this procedure, or any other for that matter, do not hesitate to go to Tampa Palms

Tammy Ahearn

Dr. Mosiello, plain and simply put , is the BEST ! I did a lot of research and he was the one I chose and am very thankful and grateful that I did, as I had consulted with other plastic surgeons from other cancer centers. Dr. Mosiello surpassed in every area. He and his staff truly care and are warm, friendly, compassionate and knowledgeable. Which takes the stress out of any pre surgery or procedure. Knowing you have the best surgeon in your corner is the most important part. Post surgical procedures look amazing and he has saved my life, and has made me whole again. Look no further, he IS the best.

Stacy Kurnot

Dr. Mosiello taught me how to live again after having breast cancer. His staff is truly a blessing. He is an amazing artist and a wonderful Doctor and friend.

Susan Harrigan

I came to Dr. Mosiello’s practice as a reluctant patient who had just been given the diagnosis of breast cancer. I have been in several doctors’ office’s during my diagnosis and treatment and Dr. Mosiello’s office is my favorite. He is a very kind, competent surgeon who patiently answered questions and explained things fully. I was given clear post op directions and checked on by the nurse before my first post op visit and someone was always available if I had a question or concern. His staff is amazing! Melissa, Paula, Mary and Carol are all very personable and caring. This is also an office where I did not wait long periods of time to be seen. Things run smoothly and timely. I would highly recommend Dr. Mosiello to anyone in need of a plastic surgeon.

Melissa H

Dr. Mosiello is an absolute pleasure and privilege to have when in circumstances requiring his knowledge and care. His staff are fantastic as well, all welcoming with a kind smile. Highly recommend this is a doctor and team you can put your trust in.