Dr. Nancy Van Laeken M.D., F.R.C.S.C.


Latissimus Dorsi Flap

Latissimus Dorsi Flap Procedure
Autologous Breast Reconstruction


Autologous breast reconstruction refers to the creation of a new breast mound from the patient’s own tissue. This involves replacing breast tissue lost during a mastectomy with the patient’s own muscle, skin and fat from another part of the body. In the Latissimus Dorsi Flap Procedure, the donor site is the upper back on the same side as the mastectomy. The latissimus dorsi muscle is considered expendable because no significant loss of adduction or rotation of the arm occurs if the other muscles of the shoulder girdle are intact. It is the largest and strongest muscle of the back.

Breast reconstruction using a flap may require a small breast implant in addition to your own tissue to equal the volume of the remaining breast. The transplanted skin will be a close color match for your breast skin and the breast will feel natural, warm and somewhat flexible.

The goal of breast reconstruction is to match the affected breast as closely as possible in shape and size to the natural breast. In the case of bilateral reconstruction (both breasts), this procedure allows for greater flexibility in size, selection and symmetry. Dr. Van Laeken will help you determine if this is an appropriate procedure for you. She will review the surgical techniques and share with you, before and after photos at the time of your consultation.

This procedure can be done either at the time of the mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or later (delayed reconstruction).

Breast reconstruction makes many women feel better about their appearance, however, it is important, to be realistic about the expected outcomes. A reconstructed breast won’t look exactly like your original breast nor will the sensation be similar.

This reconstructive approach requires 2 operative procedures and can take 6 months to one year to complete.



Candidates for the Latissimus Dorsi Flap Procedure

  • Patients who have had a mastectomy
  • Patients seeking autologous reconstruction who have had multiple abdominal surgeries or who have inadequate abdominal tissue and therefore are not candidates for a tram procedure.
  • Patients requiring radiation
  • Nonsmokers
  • Patients who require mobility aids such as crutches or wheelchairs who relying on their complete shoulder function are not considered candidates for this procedure as it may create an unacceptable disability.
  • Patients who have had extensive axillary dissection may not be candidates. Screening is based on an individual basis.
  • Women who have any of the following conditions may not be candidates for tissue flap reconstruction:
  • Diabetes
  • Vascular Disease
  • Connective Tissue Disorder

(This procedure works best for women who have average amounts of body fat and have small- to medium-size breasts.)

Procedure Video

Breast Reconstruction


View before and after photos


Email: info@vanlaeken.com