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Reconstruction using tissue from the back
(Latissimus dorsi muscle)

Transplanting part of the large back muscle (Latissimus dorsi) represents the oldest and best known method of breast reconstruction following breast cancer. With this muscle the breast can be reconstructed safely. Often an implant has to be placed beneath the relocated muscle to achieve a volume corresponding to the healthy side. The removal of the muscle from the back does not have any effects on the function of the shoulder joint worth mentioning; nevertheless, a long scar remains on the back. Operation technique

The operation takes place under general anaesthetic. The muscle is taken from the back together with its vessels and the skin covering it and remodelled as a new breast at the front. An implant can be placed under the muscle accordingly. A tube is used to let wound secretion drain off in the first days after the operation. Risks and possible complications

In rare cases blood circulation in the transplanted tissue might cause problems. This might lead to the relocated tissue dying off. However, this risk is very low with this technique. Often a certain asymmetry remains because enough volume can only be achieved with a relatively small breast. The above mentioned risk of developing capsular fibrosis of course also applies if an implant is inserted additionally. A wound cavity appears quite frequently at the back that might produce secretion for several weeks. Pre- and Follow-up treatment

As with all operations you should not smoke in order to avoid putting blood supply of the tissue at risk. Patients rest in bed for after the operation, followed by wearing a special support bra for about 3 months, as recommended.