Frequently Asked Questions about Scarless Latissimus Breast Reconstruction
What is Scarless Latissimus Surgery?
Breast reconstruction using the procedure known as scarless latissimus flap uses the same back muscle, the lattissimus dorsi, as in a traditional latissimus dorsi procedure. The difference however is there is less scarring to a woman’s back, shorter surgery time, and a shorter recovery time. The procedure accesses the muscle through the outer edge of the nipple areola or an incision under the breast area. This eliminates a scar on the woman’s back.
What Are the Advantages of Scarless Latissimus?
Another advantage to the scarless latissimus is that the procedure can shorten surgery time because the patient does not have to be turned during surgery. This means less time that the patient is under general anesthesia. A scarless lattissimus procedure usually requires about 3-4 hours in most cases.
Who Qualifies for the Scarless Latissimus Procedure?
The Scarless Latissimus procedure can be a good choice for patients who are seeking bilateral breast reconstruction, who have skin and nipples remaining from a mastectomy, and are having preventative mastectomies due to a high risk of breast cancer.
Are There Any Risks with the Scarless Latissimus Procedure?
As with any surgery, there may be some risks however small following the procedure. Rarely the tissue moved from the back may not receive enough circulation and die, known as “tissue necrosis.” A similar reaction may occur if the blood supply to the fat used in the reconstruction is cut off. In both cases, the surgeon may have to remove the affected tissue. Fluid buildup under the back wound may occur but this usually disappears over time.
What is the Recovery Time for the Scarless Latissimus Procedure?
Recovery from a scarless latissimus procedure usually takes 4-6 weeks before the patient can resume all normal activities. Activity such as lifting anything heavy (over 5 LBs), strenuous exercise, and sexual activity should all be avoided for about four weeks after surgery.
Your plastic surgeon may prescribe pain medication and an antibiotic so be sure to follow all post-operative instructions. It can take up to 12 months to fully heal and begin to enjoy the aesthetics of your reconstructed breasts.
We’re always happy to answer questions like these to help educate and reassure our patients. For more information on this topic and any other plastic surgery procedures we perform or to schedule a consultation appointment today, please contact Atlanta Plastic Surgery at one of our Atlanta, Canton, Midtown, Northside/Sandy Springs, and Cumming/Forsyth area locations. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for additional plastic surgery tips, news, photos, and much more.