Transposition of the latissimus dorsi musculocutaneous flap is still considered by most authors a first-choice technique for breast reconstruction. However, the aesthetic drawbacks of the technique are significant: In our experience the posterior scar and the "patchlike" skin island are of concern to more than 30% of patients. Recent alternatives have sharply reduced the use of the latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap as our first-choice technique. The utilization of a latissimus dorsi muscular flap in association with submuscular placement of a tissue expander is now our favorite technique for the majority of patients: Residual scarring is insignificant since the whole muscle can be raised through a 5-7-cm-long, S-shaped incision placed along the anterior border of the latissimus dorsi. The results obtained in a group of 35 patients demonstrate that the final results of the procedure in terms of shape and projection of the reconstructed breasts are absolutely similar to those obtained using the latissimus dorsi musculocutaneous flap. However, in patients with heavy body structure and large contralateral breast, satisfactory symmetry and a natural-looking reconstructed breast are obtained more effectively by transposition of a rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap. The precautions to be taken in order to make the procedure suitable for overweight patients are described and the results are discussed.
- Breast reconstruction
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