The latissimus flap, like the TRAM flap, uses a woman’s own tissue to restore her breast. The latissimus flap uses the skin and muscle from the upper back and rotates this tissue around to the front of the chest. While the latissimus can be an excellent choice for some women, because of the popularity of the TRAM flap breast reconstruction method, it is often reserved for patients in whom the TRAM reconstruction is not a good option. This group of patients includes extremely thin patients without much abdominal tissue, or those who have previously undergone extensive abdominal operations.
During this surgery, an incision is made in the back, often hidden the bra line. The skin and muscle
of the latissimus is then rotated forward to the chest wall, to recreate the breast.The latissimus flap is a smaller flap than the TRAM, and it is often not large enough to restore adequate volume to the breast. In these cases, a woman can chose to either have an implant placed with the latissimus flap and undergo a breast augmentation after reconstruction, or possibly undergo a breast reduction on the other breast.
As mentioned in the above reconstructive options, the nipple and areola are restored during an additional stage.