Latissimus Dorsi Flap

About Latissimus Dorsi Flap

The reconstructive procedure entailing the anterior rotation of the Latissimus Dorsi flap to the chestwall, was developed and described for the first time at the end of the XIX century by an Italian physician, Iginio Tansini, to reconstruct tissues defects of the thorax. The technique has been widely used, along the XX century, to restore thoracic wall defects following tumor resection, until it has been described in detail for breast reconstruction.

Breast reconstruction with Latissimus Dorsi muscle flap, as well as DIEP flap, is a procedure that allows for the use of the patient's own tissues, although it often requires the use of a prosthesis also. This technique can be indicated, in the place of the DIEP flap, in skinny patients with an amount of abdominal adipose tissue that is insufficient to reconstruct an appropriate breast mound. When, quite frequently, patient's treatment program includes radiotherapy, it is suggested to perform this procedure as "delayed", to avoid capsule contracture around the prosthesis due to radiation.

Latissimus Dorsi is an irregularly trapezoidal muscle; it originates from the lumbar vertebrae and gradually tapers reaching the axilla. It is used alone to reconstruct a small breast, or in combination with a prosthesis for a larger breast.

A procedure similar to the Latissimus Dorsi, using the same tissues from the posterior thoracic wall, is the adipo-cutaneous TAP (Toracodorsal Artery Perforator); it is perfused by the same vessels but spares the whole muscle and, to achieve the required volume, it is possible to insert a prosthesis or autologous fat tissue through lipofilling.


Show video "Mastectomy and Reconstruction with Latissimus Dorsi Flap"

(Warning! This video contains scientific material; due to crudeness of the images its view is not suggested to an emotional audience.)

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  • Latissimus Dorsi Flap
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Redazione Barbara Fabiani