Latissimus Flap Surgery

Latissimus Flap in Dallas, TX

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Dallas women on the road to recovery after cancer come to the Texas Center for Breast Reconstruction with a variety of needs and preferences. Sometimes, a patient wants to get a more natural-looking breast using her body’s own tissues, but lacks sufficient volume to achieve her desired result without being combined with implants. In other cases, Dallas board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. McKane and Dr. Duffy, might recommend a tissue flap to protect an implant in a patient who is still undergoing radiation therapy. In these cases, a woman might best benefit from Latissimus Flap Reconstruction, where a flap is used to cover an implant for long-lasting results.

Surgical Technique

A “flap” is typically a combination of muscle, fat, and skin tissues we use to reconstruct a breast that has been lost. Flaps can be harvested from your abdomen (as in DIEP Flap Reconstruction), back, or other parts of the body, but the most common type of combination flap and implant reconstruction is the Latissimus Flap.

Dallas Latissimus Flap reconstruction patients can expect the following during surgery:

  • Your surgeon will remove a flap of tissue from your back, in the area below your scapula, or “shoulder blade.”
  • An implant will be placed in the location of the new breast (implant type – silicone or saline – will be determined by you and your surgeon prior to your operation.)
  • The tissue flap from your back will be rotated around to the breast area and used to enclose the implant, providing more coverage and protection for the implant than skin alone.
  • In some cases, the Latissimus Flap can be done without an implant, but this doesn’t typically provide sufficient volume for most patients. An implant helps to ensure a more natural appearance and look.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Dallas patients thinking about a reconstruction should consider the following factors:


  • With a Latissimus Flap covering the implant, the flap can be used to help treat complications.
  • The reconstructed breast may have a more normal appearance than with an implant alone.


  • Latissimus Flap reconstruction may require a somewhat longer, more difficult surgery, and possibly a longer recovery, at the first stage when compared with implants alone.
  • Patients may experience some initial weakness in the use of the arm on the reconstructed side, though most patients quickly overcome this with the use of the other muscles in the area.
  • There will be an additional scar, typically 6 – 8 inches long, running below the scapula, or “shoulder blade,” on the reconstructed side.

When to Schedule

Surgeons with Texas Center for Breast Reconstruction, Dr. Duffy and Dr. McKane, work in consultation with the patient and the patient's other doctors to plan and schedule procedures accordingly. This allows us to coordinate with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other aspects of breast cancer recovery. Typically, patients have the initial breast reconstruction surgery at one of two times:

  • Immediately following the mastectomy while the patient is still under general anesthesia.
  • In a separate surgical session as determined by the patient’s medical team.

Our doctors typically recommend breast reconstruction immediately following mastectomy because the tissue and skin are more malleable. However, we can achieve excellent results with either approach.

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Dr. Duffy and Dr. McKane are well experienced in performing a number of perforator flaps, including the Latissimus Flap procedure, for breast reconstruction following breast cancer surgery. Our practice will work closely with the patient to determine the best time to perform the procedure for optimal results. During a consultation, we will learn more about your condition, medical history, and your goals in order to determine the best course of treatment. It’s important to get the process started as soon as possible, so feel free to contact our office to schedule your consultation immediately.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.