Using Back Muscles for Breast Reconstruction

When a woman is preparing for breast reconstruction, whether she’s opting to have her reconstruction at the same time as her mastectomy/lumpectomy or her original breast cancer surgery was years ago, one of the primary decisions she needs to make is whether to restore her volume with a breast implant or with fat, muscle, and other tissue taken from her abdomen. There are pros and cons to each method, depending on the patient’s unique anatomy, needs, and aesthetic goals. Some women prefer the fact that implants offer a simpler and quicker recovery, but it’s important to realize that this procedure is still more complex than when an implant is used for a typical breast augmentation.

When a woman with natural breasts receives a breast augmentation, her existing breast tissue and muscle are generally able to support the implant and keep it in its place. But for women who have had a mastectomy, this breast tissue has been removed, so to keep the implant securely placed and natural-looking, we need to use another piece of material over the implant. While there are some manufactured, artificial products which serve this purpose, many of my patients prefer to use their own natural tissue if possible, and this is done using a specific muscle from the back called the latissimus dorsi. My video below explains more about how the latissimus dorsi muscle can be used with a breast implant and how, in some cases, this can even be done without leaving a scar on the back.

No matter which of the many available options you choose for breast reconstruction, remember that finding a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced and who makes you feel comfortable is a vital step in the process. To start discussing your options, schedule a consultation with me, Dr. Franklyn Elliott. Plus, for more helpful plastic and reconstructive surgery information, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.