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Lastissimus dorsi reconstructive surgery
Emmamarie62
18 Posts
I would like to hear from women who have had this procedure - were you happy with the result; did you regain full strength; how long did it take to recover; any complications; would you do it again; what do the scars and tissue look
like?
10 Replies
supersu
1295 Posts

@Emmamarie62

good morning and welcome. thank you for your first post. please let us know how we can support you as you move through your cancer story.

I am going to tag @Skye2 as she is an RN who has had some reconstructive surgery and may be able to offer some medical expertise as well as lived experience!

this is a fab community and I am sure others will chime in with their unique POV's.

cheers
su

#latissimusdorsirecontruction #welcomenewmembers

Hezz
117 Posts

I had a LD reconstruction on 1 side to replace the pectoral muscle I lost to the tumor. I am now 2 weeks away from getting Implants on both sides to complete my reconstruction.

It was the most painful surgery I've had and I was in hospital for 5 days. The scar on my back is huge but healed beautifully and I have no issues with it. I ended up with a staph infection and I lost part of the flap to that but it's still doing its job.

It was the right solution for me. I needed to replace a muscle and an abdominal flap surgery was far too high risk for me.

Let me know if you want pictures or more details.

Hezz :)

Emmamarie62
18 Posts

Hezz. Yes please do send pictures it will help me umderstand this better

Emmamarie62
18 Posts

I am nervous about the LD. I was told I would only be in the hospital overnight post op the. 6 weeks off to heal. How was your mobilization afterward. If you had to do it again would you have LD. As my rad onc stated you can’t go back once you do this I had bilateral reconstruction and the side that was normal the implant failed so now waiting for this next step. An expander of implant is placed below the muscle? is it done at the same time as the surgery or do you have to go back in again for a further surgery?

Hezz
117 Posts

Hi @Emmamarie62

In my case, an expander was put under the new LD flap/muscle…but keep in mind that the LD flap for me was to replace the pectoral muscle and not to replace the breast. In my case, the implants will replace the breasts … and I'm getting them tomorrow!!!

When I had the LD flap surgery, they placed expanders in both breasts at the same time as they did the flap. I got a staph infection so I needed a couple more surgeries along the way, but if all had gone according to plan, I would have only needed 1 more surgery to swap out the expanders for implants after the LD flap. The non-radiated tissue from the back is WAY easier to expand, so that part can go quite quickly (3 months in my case).

From what I understand though, most women just get the flap and not expanders. I wouldn't have been happy with just the flap as my breast would've been way too small. But I'm a slight person so I didn't have tons of tissue to move from my back.

I'm surprised they said just 1 night in hospital. I was chatting with my surgeon last week and she said that 2-3 nights is most common.

My mobility after was very good. I needed a sling to keep my arm stable when I was out of the house for 2 months and I couldn't drive for a couple weeks. Other than the initial week of extreme pain, it wasn't bad at all. I would totally do it again. I was 44 when I had the LD flap surgery and I know age is something to consider with recovery.

I'll post some pics and hopefully I won't get in trouble as some of them are a bit graphic but it will give you an idea. I now look fantastic in clothing…which is our goal!

Hezz :)

Hezz
117 Posts
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A week post-op
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This shows the difference in size between the LD flap side and the side that didn't get a flap re-planted. You can also see the staph infection brewing. This is about a month post-op.
Hezz
117 Posts

Where my LD flap was taken. I only had it on 1 side.

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2 weeks post-op
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2 days post-op
Emmamarie62
18 Posts

Thank you for sharing these pictures as I really didn’t know what this would look like. I wish you well with the implants tomorrow! Did thr sacr on your back fade and is the skin colour different on the breast. It looks like it!

Emmamarie62
18 Posts

I had a terrible infection post reconstruction on the one side and that takes a lot out of a person.

Hezz
117 Posts

The color of the flap is different for sure! The scars are fading and I'm using Silicone scar strips to help with that (on recommendation from my surgeon). Keep in mind that we will never look like we did before.

I wanted to give an update. I got my Implants and it was an easy surgery. That was 5 weeks ago.

At the 4 week point, I began exercise classes and got 3D nipple tattoos. the tattoo on the LD flap was very easy and is holding nicely. Have you made any decisions?

Hezz :)

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