Lat Flap Complications...do They Resolve?

I had a LD flap done on my right breast due to rads damage about 3.5months ago. My back is killing me, lower back, down the spine and between my shoulder blades. It is a constant dull ache bordering on pain. My PS is telling me I am a rare case, which after doing some research after the fact, I have found other women experiencing the same thing. Do these back pains (weakness) ever resolve as the other muscles start to compensate or am I doomed to a life of chronic pain?

Doctor Answers (2)

Pain after latissimus flap breast reconstruction

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I am sorry to hear of your discomfort after your breast reconstruction.  When this flap is taken for reconstruction of your breast, it is not uncommon to experience some pain/tenderness, as with any surgical procedure, after this procedure particularly.   At 3.5 months postoperatively, I would consult with your surgeon for examination as that much discomfort is not typical, but not uncommon.  It should continue to improve.  

After latissimus flap breast reconstructions, studies have shown very minimal change in strength as well as range of motion after this procedure.  You may require physical therapy, if you haven't already begun stretching exercises first.  Medications for muscle spasms also help (e.g., Valium) as well as warm showers/heating pads (just be careful when using heat as your sensation may be decreased in this area).  Of course, I would ask your surgeon to see what other options you may have and when you could/should commence such.  Hope that this helps!  Best of luck!  I would expect that your symptoms continue to improve with time.  


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Latissimus flap for breast reconstruction

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Some patients as with any surgery  may have discomfort at the donor site. It is difficult to predict who will get it, how long it will last, or if it willever get better. Most do get better with time.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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