Back flap (latissimus dorsi)

For patients who do not have enough tissue in the abdomen and require extra skin to complete their reconstruction (often in the context of radiation) tissue can be taken from the back. Skin and fat are transferred with the latissimus dorsi muscle and can either be used to fill missing tissue or be combined with an implant to reconstruct the entire breast.

back flap latissimus dorsi Phi Plastic Surgery


The muscle that is taken is not functional in its new position and loss of this muscle in the back does not result in any loss of function as there are other muscles in the back that can compensate. The disadvantage of this technique is that it leaves an unsightly scar on the back.

Patients who are good candidates for a back flap include:

  • Thin patients who do not have abdominal tissue (or it cannot be used)
  • Patients with radiation who have rejected an implant
  • Patients with pinchable tissue on their back
  • Non smokers
  • Not obese
  • No serious medical problems
  • Are willing to accept a scar on their back

Patients who are poor candidates for a back flap include

  • Smokers
  • Obese
  • Have serious medical problems
  • Do not have any excess tissue on their back
  • Are not willing to accept a scar on their back

Recovery involves 2-3 days in the hospital and 4 weeks off of work. A drain is placed in the back and can be needed for up to 3 weeks.

For more information on breast reconstruction:

Contact-us to book an appointment to discuss your breast reconstruction options with Dr. Perry.