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Anyone had Latissimus Flap Reconstruction?

Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2001

Hi, my name is Sharon and I'm scheduled to have latissimus flap reconstruction on Wednesday, August 15. I was wondering if anyone out there has had this procedure and would like to share their experience with me. This procedure uses the muscle and fat from the back. I really would like to talk to someone about reconstruction as I am getting nervus especially because I smoke and the doctor told me to try and quit. I have been trying, I went from a pack and a half to about seven a day. I'm trying to quit all together.
Thanks for any responses and God Bless........

Posts: 65
Joined: Apr 2001

Hi Sharon, I can relate to the smoking part, I have not fully quit but getting there. I only smoke when I drink now, which is about once a week (from a pack a day). Regarding the reconstruction, I had a free tram flap done on Aug 10, 2000 so it's getting close to my anniversary. My doctor also told me to quit smoking or at least to cut down, it has something to with the healing of scars and tissue that's what I was told. I will be thinking and praying for you on that date, please keep us posted. Take care.

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2001

Hi Sharon, my name is Andi and I am a three time cancer survivor. I had cancer in 1982, breast cancer in 1993, and breast cancer in 2000. When I had my first breast cancer, in 1993, I could not have radiation, due to the cancer I had in 1982. I had to have a mastectomy. In May of 1994, I had what was called a "tram flap". I believe this is very similar to the latissimus flap. The only difference is in the tram flap, they take muscle and fat from the stomach. The surgery went very well. I think the only downfall of this type of surgery is if you have a tendency to gain any weight, the reconstructed tissue will also gain that weight. Although it may be different with the fat tissue they are taking from the back. If weight could be a problem for you, that is a question you may want to ask your doctor. Because of my tendency to weight gain, I became very unhappy with my reconstructed breast. It became quite hard and large looking. That was resolved, when I had my last mastectomy. I decided at that time to remove the reconstruction (the doctors really tried to convince my not to), and I have been extremely happy since that time. Not all women can handle the absence of breasts and it will entirely depend on your outlook, no matter which route you decide to take. The one thing I can say, is please have a positive attitude no matter what. You can beat this. Live each day to its fullest and love your support system.

I am new to this, so if I have overstepped my boundaries, I apologize. I have so much experience with cancer and I want to give hope to people who may feel no hope.

God Bless You Always

Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi Sharon. I'm Cathy. I had a mastectomy and Tram flap in Sept 2000. The breast feels soft like the other one. It looks pretty good.I had the nipple and aerola reconstructed in Feb. and again in June and just had the tatoo in July. It's a long process! The toughest part for me has been the discomfort in my abdomen from the pulling sensation from the pulling of the abdominal muscles under the abdomen to the breast area. I'm small and they used all of my rt. muscles and 2/3 of my left.I couldn't have the latissimus flap because I don't have any fat on my back at all. If I had to do it again and was able to do a Tram flap(which can't be done again) I would do the same thing.It was tough initially, but the outcome is good. Good luck with your surgery. Keep up informed. HUGS!!! Cathy

Posts: 2
Joined: May 2003

I am soppose to be getting the same thing done next month I am also very scared but i know I can't live with only one breast I cant stand to look at myself in the mirror. I saw a nurse at the hospital where I got my mastectomy and she had that surgery and her breast looked good I was so depressed at the hospital she pulled her shirt up to show me how it would look. It looked like a regular breast beside the scar. I personally dont care if i have a scar as long as i got a breast.

maggie's picture
Posts: 77
Joined: Sep 2000

Hi Sharon, I'm Maggie. I had the same procedure done on Aug. 18,1999. I was very nervous at first and had even changed my mind about having it. The day of the surgery, my plastic surgeron talked to me again and I went on with the procedure. I have not had any problems with it and would do it again , if I had too. I will be praying for you as you go though this. Feel free to email me if you have any more questions. Smiles, Maggie

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