Latissimus Dorsi Flap Reconstruction - San Diego, CA

I was diagonosed with breast cancer in May 2013. ...

I was diagonosed with breast cancer in May 2013. I had 3 separate surgeries for my reconstruction: 1) bi-lateral mastectomy with immediate Latissimus Dorsi Flap reconstruction and expanders, 2) the exchange of the expanders with the permanent implants, and 3) the nipple-areolar reconstruction.

The Latissimus Dorsi Flap (LDAP) reconstruction is a much more difficult surgery as it requires cutting latissimus dorsi muscles from each side of your back and moving them under the skin and muscles to the front chest where they are attached to create a ‘hammock’ for the implants to sit. The surgery is longer than the traditional expander/implant reconstruction, and the recovery time is twice as long (about 6-8 weeks). As challenging as it sounded, I chose to have the LDAP reconstruction because I felt the results would be more aesthetically pleasing and natural looking. I am absolutely thrilled with my results!! I feel like my breasts look very natural, and I am amazed at how the nipple reconstruction turned out as well. It has been over a year since my first surgery, and I am still a little numb in my back and sides of my breasts, but I can still do pretty much everything that I did before my surgery. And believe me, there were a lot of things that I could not do right after the LDAP surgery. I am so happy to be back to my old self again, but without the breast cancer!

2 Comments

so how much of your breast is your own tissue and how much is implant? I didn't think u would need expanders if you used an additional flap for skin? im confused
  • Reply
Hi evesue, For my reconstruction, my back latissimus dorsi muscles were cut from each side and moved to the front of my chest so that the implants could sit in the lat muscles, kinda like a hammock. This creates more of a natural look, more curvature at the bottom of the breast and less shelfing at the top. I am small framed and using my fat was not an option, so I had to go with implants. The skin tissue from my back was also used to fill in where the areolas were. I hope this helps.
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Pacella impressed me before I even met him. I had the unfortunate timing of trying to schedule my initial consult during a week when he was completely booked. After calling a few times to see if there were any cancellations, the receptionist offered to e-mail Dr. Pacella and ask if he might be able to fit me in. I honestly didn’t think I would have any luck, but she called that afternoon and told me Dr. Pacella could see me first thing the next morning! That made a world of difference to me because when you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, the waiting part is very difficult. I was so grateful to him for making time in his very busy schedule to fit me in. Dr. Pacella is such a talented and skilled top-notch plastic surgeon, and I feel extremely fortunate and blessed that I had the privilege of being in his care for my reconstruction. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I went in for my initial consult, but after Dr. Pacella thoroughly explained the LDAP reconstruction procedure, I left feeling hopeful and relieved that I could feel normal again. The results of my reconstruction absolutely blew me away!! Dr. Pacella is a master at LDAP breast reconstruction and areolar/nipple reconstruction. I am so impressed with his attention to details, and I love that he cares so much about the aesthetics. This was important for me because although I am usually a very detail-oriented person, my mind was so clouded with the fear of breast cancer that I wasn’t worrying about the aesthetic details. My reconstruction turned out to be a very positive experience, as challenging as it was at times. I will be forever grateful for the wonderful care I received from Dr. Pacella and his great nurses and staff. The nurses are very caring and personable and call me back right away if I have questions or concerns. Diana, the Surgery Coordinator, was always so thorough and helpful with scheduling all of my surgeries. And the staff at the front desk is always cheerful and pleasant. I have to say it is somewhat bittersweet that I am finally at the end of my reconstruction process. I’m so relieved and thrilled that I am finished with breast cancer (fingers crossed!) and that my breasts look amazing, but I will also miss the lovely people I met and got to know at Dr. Pacella’s office.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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