Reconstruction Latissimus flap Q's

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GreeneyedGirl
GreeneyedGirl Member Posts: 1,077
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Greetings~ I am new to the site. I was diagnosed in Mar. o6 with DCIS. I underwent a large lumpectomy and radiation. In June 07 I had the right breast lifted to match the left side which had shrunken considerably. Then in Mar 08 was found to have more cancer appear in the left breast. All caught early, thankfully, and stage 0. I had my left breast mastectomy in April and had a tissue expander placed at the time of surgery. The expander has not been able to stretch that radiated muscle and skin like we had hoped, and the surgeon is suggesting a latissimus dorsi flap with an implant to get the volume needed. I am concerned about this aggressive (to me) surgery and am weighing options out. I am open to having the expander removed and going with a prosthetic. I am 48 years young, and still have teens at home. I would love to hear from anyone who could share their experience. My faith and positive attitude, plus a huge support network has gotten me thru this season.

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  • ohilly
    ohilly Member Posts: 441
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    lat flap reconstruction
    Greeneyed, I have had the lat flap reconstruction twice: once in January of this year, when I was diagnosed with stage I (I chose to have a mastectomy) and now, when I had another preventive mastectomy because I found out I am BRCA 1. Both times my surgeon did a procedure in which a permanent implant was placed and everything was done in one step. I am very satisfied with the lap flat - I have no pain, and everyone tells me how good the reconstruction looks. If you have more specific questions, feel free to call me on my cell phone, (312) 498-7152. I will be pretty much at home for the next two weeks because I am still recovering from my preventive mastectomy. Also, the procedure used skin from my natural breast (called a skin-sparing mastectomy).

    Ohilly
  • survivor51
    survivor51 Member Posts: 276
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    thrilled
    I am not certain about the damage from the radiation but they took the muscle from my back and use some of my back skin. It looks totally natural and after the expanders were out had sicilone implants. My hubby states, "They feel just like you." Originally the skin from the back looked like two large eyes but they reshaped them and now are circles. I'll have my nipple reconstruction within the next few weeks and thrilled with the look, feel, appearance with my clothes. The scars on my back are two lines where my bra hides in the back but now the lines are almost invisible. The scars on the breast are also almost completely invisible and once I do the tatoo in 6 months, it will be hard to even tell I had a double mastectomy. I had cancer in both sides and all is looking great. Angela
  • Joycelouise
    Joycelouise Member Posts: 482
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    Greeneyed - Do you mind me
    Greeneyed - Do you mind me asking, how large an implant are you having done? I ask because I am going to do an implant after rads. and was told that it can be risky. But I am used to being a small C cup (you know, that used to be a B till the bra companies started flattering us with bigger names). I am not hoping to match another larger breast and am hoping I can get away with the rad.s to implant route. Thanks. love, Joyce
  • GreeneyedGirl
    GreeneyedGirl Member Posts: 1,077
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    ohilly said:

    lat flap reconstruction
    Greeneyed, I have had the lat flap reconstruction twice: once in January of this year, when I was diagnosed with stage I (I chose to have a mastectomy) and now, when I had another preventive mastectomy because I found out I am BRCA 1. Both times my surgeon did a procedure in which a permanent implant was placed and everything was done in one step. I am very satisfied with the lap flat - I have no pain, and everyone tells me how good the reconstruction looks. If you have more specific questions, feel free to call me on my cell phone, (312) 498-7152. I will be pretty much at home for the next two weeks because I am still recovering from my preventive mastectomy. Also, the procedure used skin from my natural breast (called a skin-sparing mastectomy).

    Ohilly

    ohilly~
    Thank you for your

    ohilly~
    Thank you for your reply, your outcome encourages me. I have been losing sleep due to my wild thoughts about the unknown. I will consider your offer to talk over the phone, especially as the time draws near. Knowing you endured this twice-helps me in my decision.
    GreeneyedGirl
  • GreeneyedGirl
    GreeneyedGirl Member Posts: 1,077
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    thrilled
    I am not certain about the damage from the radiation but they took the muscle from my back and use some of my back skin. It looks totally natural and after the expanders were out had sicilone implants. My hubby states, "They feel just like you." Originally the skin from the back looked like two large eyes but they reshaped them and now are circles. I'll have my nipple reconstruction within the next few weeks and thrilled with the look, feel, appearance with my clothes. The scars on my back are two lines where my bra hides in the back but now the lines are almost invisible. The scars on the breast are also almost completely invisible and once I do the tatoo in 6 months, it will be hard to even tell I had a double mastectomy. I had cancer in both sides and all is looking great. Angela

    Angela~ I so appreciate your
    Angela~ I so appreciate your input. You gals who endure this in "doubles" are courageous fighters. I wonder about the pain the first 4-5 days out of surgery. How bad is it? And my husband is very very supportive of my choice. He is sound counsel for me.
    Thank you for responding.
    GEG
  • GreeneyedGirl
    GreeneyedGirl Member Posts: 1,077
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    Greeneyed - Do you mind me
    Greeneyed - Do you mind me asking, how large an implant are you having done? I ask because I am going to do an implant after rads. and was told that it can be risky. But I am used to being a small C cup (you know, that used to be a B till the bra companies started flattering us with bigger names). I am not hoping to match another larger breast and am hoping I can get away with the rad.s to implant route. Thanks. love, Joyce

    Joyce~
    I am not certain the

    Joyce~
    I am not certain the size yet, we are in the early stages of discussion with the surgeon. I am currently at 500cc with the tissue expander. And that is about 2/3 the size we need. The expander holds 400cc. Since he is adding the skin and muscle from the back, the size of implant has not been discussed yet, although he showed us a 750cc implant that is about the size we need. Funny cause i wear a 34C bra (formerly a 34DD) quite the difference, and i am pleased with the smaller size. Needing more tissue and implant is probably due to the shape of my chest. My skin doesn't even show signs of being radiated. I daily massaged pure aloe into my skin and used aquafor (sp) cream to keep the skin supple.
    Hope that helps answer your question.
    GEG
  • Joycelouise
    Joycelouise Member Posts: 482
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    Joyce~
    I am not certain the

    Joyce~
    I am not certain the size yet, we are in the early stages of discussion with the surgeon. I am currently at 500cc with the tissue expander. And that is about 2/3 the size we need. The expander holds 400cc. Since he is adding the skin and muscle from the back, the size of implant has not been discussed yet, although he showed us a 750cc implant that is about the size we need. Funny cause i wear a 34C bra (formerly a 34DD) quite the difference, and i am pleased with the smaller size. Needing more tissue and implant is probably due to the shape of my chest. My skin doesn't even show signs of being radiated. I daily massaged pure aloe into my skin and used aquafor (sp) cream to keep the skin supple.
    Hope that helps answer your question.
    GEG

    THanks. It does help. I am
    THanks. It does help. I am getting used to considering size in CC's, not cups. How nice that your skin stayed clear. Best wishes, love, Joyce