Can the latissimus dorsi flap be removed during reconstruction?

I had a double masectomy tissue expander with a latissimus dorsi flap surgery. I am about to go through radiation. I work out a lot and I am slowly trying to get back into the work out routine and I am having some issues when doing upper body. I can feel the muscle contracting and its not comfortable, it limits my movements and workouts. I want to know my options. Can that flap be removed? Thank you

Doctor Answers 3

Lat dorsi pain

A latissimus dorsi muscle gets weak like other muscles when not used. Muscle strengthening can cause some short term muscle pain that improves and should resolve. Moving a muscle surgically does weaken it. The nerve to the muscle can be divided if your pain persists. This can be done when permanent implants are placed. Good luck.

Dayton Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Movement of latissimus

Hello,In order to stop the muscle from contracting the nerve to the muscle will need to be divided leaving the blood supply intact. This will keep the muscle and skin healthy but stop the nerve stimulation which causes movement.I generally do this at the same time as the muscle rotation but it can be performed afterwards as in your case. After dividing the nerve you should not have any further movement with that muscles except in rare cases. I would speak to your plastic surgeon about your concerns. Make sure he/she feels comfortable with the division so that you can get some relief from the discomfort the movement causes. Best of Luck!
Dr. Rednam 

Rukmini V. Rednam, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Can the latissimus dorsi flap be removed during reconstruction?

Only in person examination of the muscle action can allow a determination if your wish can be achieved.

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.