What is a latissimus dorsi flap?

The latissimus dorsi flap is a pedicle flap used for breast reconstruction. Since there is usually not as much tissue there as from an abdominal wall (tummy) donor site, this type of flap is often used with a breast implant to add volume (size) to breast reconstruction. For this procedure, the surgeon tunnels muscle, fat, skin, and blood vessels from your upper back, under the skin to the front of the chest. This type of reconstruction can sometimes be used without an implant depending on the amount of tissue and the desired breast size. Even though one muscle from the back is taken with the flap, rarely do women have weakness in their back, shoulder, or arm after this surgery.