Des Moines LD Flap Reconstruction

For many breast cancer patients, breast reconstruction is a critical part of the healing process. Everyone deserves to have a body they feel comfortable with, especially those whose bodies have been ravaged by cancer. Reclaiming your body after it has been attacked by cancer is an affirming experience for many breast cancer patients. Breast reconstruction goes a long way toward helping women regain their confidence and improve their overall quality of life.

Thanks to advances in medical technology, there are many options for breast reconstruction to better meet the needs of more individuals. If you have previously been turned down as a candidate for breast reconstruction from abdominal tissue, you may benefit from reconstruction using your own tissue and an implant. The Des Moines LD flap reconstruction surgeons can help you reclaim your ideal body shape. Call (515) 222-1111 to learn more.

What Is It?

Breast reconstruction using your own tissue and an implant is a newer option that can help those who have previously been denied the benefit of breast reconstruction. For this type of procedure, also called the Latissimus Dorsi Myocutaneous (LD) Flap, the doctor uses tissue from the patient’s upper back. The LD flap typically does not have enough fatty tissue to imitate the look of a breast, however, so the doctor will also use an implant to help create enough of a mound to match the desired look of the breast.

Benefits of LD Flap Reconstruction

There are many benefits of this procedure, including:

  • Decreased recovery period: The biggest advantage of LD flap reconstruction is how short the recovery period is after surgery. Except for back-intensive activities such as rock climbing, swimming, or tennis, most activities and everyday life can be resumed shortly after surgery. Especially for patients who have undergone so many procedures already, this speedy recovery element of LD flap reconstruction is an enormous benefit.
  • Discreet scar: Another benefit of LD flap reconstruction is how easily the scar can be hidden. Often, doctors are able to remove the tissue from the upper back in such a way that the patients’ bra can cover the scar.
  • Implant coverage: Using the upper back tissue gives the doctor more flexibility in providing implant coverage. Patients can opt for bigger implant sizes with LD flap reconstruction because there is plentiful tissue on the upper back to choose from. Additionally, pulling the tissue over in a flap to cover the implant is a relatively straightforward process.
  • Shorter surgery: Though some patients opt to have the implant placed in a subsequent surgery, they can also choose to have it done at the same time as the LD flap is created. With this second option, the surgery can be streamlined and shorter than other reconstruction options, leading to less time under anesthesia and faster recovery time as well.
  • More compatible for thinner patients: Thin patients who have very little fatty tissue in their bodies are often denied as candidates for other forms of reconstruction using their own tissue. LD flap reconstruction has proven to be very successful for thinner patients, however, making it a viable option even for thin patients who have undergone radiation therapy.

If you are interested in LD flap restoration, talk to an experienced surgeon like the ones at Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery to learn more.

Disadvantages of LD Flap Reconstruction

As with any medical procedure, it is important to speak with your doctor about any potential side effects or limitations.

  • Breast implant is required: For patients who solely want to use their own tissue, LD flap reconstruction is not ideal. With this type of reconstruction, there is not enough fatty tissue in the upper back to make a sufficient mound for a breast, so a silicone or saline implant is generally required. The necessity of an implant may not be an issue for some patients, but for those looking for a completely autologous reconstruction option, LD flap reconstruction will likely disappoint.
  • Back muscles weakened: Most patients will not notice the difference in back muscle from where the tissue is taken, but for those who participate in back-intensive activities such as rock climbing, tennis, swimming, or weight lifting, they may feel imbalanced in their muscle strength.
  • Potential for complications: As with any autologous surgery, there is the potential for more complications when you are using tissue from your body and creating two sites of surgery instead of just one. One of the most common complications from LD flap reconstruction is that sometimes a bulky area is created under the armpit from where the back tissue is rotated toward the breast. This bulky area usually goes away with time.

The experienced LD flap reconstruction experts at Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery are here to help you decide if this surgery is right for you. Contact us to learn more.

Making the Decision

Choosing whether to have breast reconstruction done is a challenging decision with many factors to consider, including what type of reconstruction will work best for your body, and when is the best time to have the reconstruction done in light of other treatments you may be undergoing. Some other factors that need to be weighed include how you want to look in and out of clothes, what activities you may be restricted from when having surgery to your back, abdomen, or buttocks, and how much time you can devote to recovering from the surgery.

For the best results in your breast reconstruction, consult with a trusted plastic surgeon as early as possible. Some patients can have breast reconstruction done at the same time as a mastectomy, but knowing whether that is an option for you requires a plastic surgeon’s insight. Along with medical reasons that may lead you toward one type of treatment over another are factors such as personal preferences and values that affect what type of outcome you are seeking through breast reconstruction.

The breast reconstruction surgeons at Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery understand how critical breast reconstruction is to many patients who want to regain their confidence after a mastectomy. If you or a loved one is considering breast reconstruction, contact us today at (515) 222-1111 to explore the options available to you. The sooner you call and enlist the help of an experienced plastic surgeon, the happier you will be with the outcome of your procedure. Our compassionate and experienced team stands ready to answer any questions you may have about breast reconstruction. You deserve a body that boosts your confidence and sense of self. Let us help you reach that goal by contacting us today at (515) 222-1111.

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