Is Cutting the Thoracodorsal Nerve Recommended After Lat Flap to Prevent Animation?

Is Cutting the Thoracodorsal Nerve Recommended After Lat Flap to Prevent Animation?

Doctor Answers (2)

Latissimus Breast Reconstruction

+1

Animation of the breast after latissimus flap reconstruction can be very annoying to active women.  The thoracodorsal nerve is often resected to reduce this issue as the latissimus flap does not require innervated muscle to survive, only the circulation through the muscle to supply the overlying skin and fat.  Atrophy, or thinning, of the denervated muscle over the next 6 months may be a consequence to consider when planning the reconstruction.


Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Yes, dividing the thoracodorsal nerve can decrease the chances of animation after the latissimus dorsi flap

+1

Thank you for your question.

Some surgeons divide the thoracodorsal nerve and some don't. It can help decrease animation but can also contribut to atrophy and shrinking of the muscle making the latissimus dorsi less robust.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

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