2 months post mastectomy, dr is suggesting only Lat Flap instead of waiting for Expanders. Why can't we continue waiting?(photo)

3 weeks ago we were waiting to fill expander to see if my skin would heal better (started with 300cc at surgery) yesterday he says it's just thin and my only option is the Lat flap. The skin was thin 3 weeks ago so why now is it too thin, that hasn't changed. Why can't we just wait longer for healing? I am in my early 30s and thin. He's taken infrared pictures and the area is getting blood flow. I just want to do what's best, should I get a second opinion or just trust him

2mths post single mastectomy. Skin is very thin and purple/blue in color in a 5cm area below incision. My Dr is recom. Lat flap

Doctor Answers 3

Breast reconstruction with a latissimus flap

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

This area of skin is thinning and can breakdown.  The options to replaced or add volume is appropriate to avoid implant complications.  There are several options including the DIEP flap.

Muscle Flaps in breast cancer reconstruction

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

THank you for your question.

Looking at the pictures the tissue expander appears to be in place but is inadequately covered.  The best option in reconstruction of the breast is a DIEP perforator flap my your abdomen.  This technique uses the abdominal fat to reconstruct the breast WITHOUT the need to use any muscles either from your back or your abdomen.  I would talk to your surgeon and make sure they explain all your options that are available to correct the problem that you are facing.  Good Luck

Ali Sadeghi, MD, FACS
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Discolored skin

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The skin on your lower incision may not heal and breakdown. Exposure of expander can cause infection in that space and necessitate removal. A latissimus flap will not hurt lymphedema and on occasion it improves. Tennis will be different,but muscle flap will still contract and provide power.Swimming is an activity that is typically worse after a lat flap.

William C. Rigano, MD
Dayton Plastic Surgeon

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.