Permanent Latissimus Dorsi Muscle Denervation in Breast Reconstruction

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BackgroundA retrospective analysis of our series of denervated latissimus dorsi (LD) breast reconstructions showed a high incidence of postoperative LD contraction. Anatomical studies with a prospective clinical trial are set up to outline a successful denervation procedure.MethodsFifteen fresh cadavers were dissected to study thoracodorsal nerve course. Subsequently, 40 consecutive LD breast reconstructions were divided randomly in equal groups and underwent either distal (group A) or proximal (group B) nerve resection and clipping. The presence of postoperative contraction was evaluated clinically and instrumentally at 2-year follow-up. Statistical analysis of data was performed by Fisher exact test.ResultsCadaver dissections showed distal branching of thoracodorsal nerve in 20% of cases. Incidence of postoperative LD contraction was 35% (7/20) in group A and 0% in group B. A significantly lower rate of contraction in group B was demonstrated (P = 0.004).ConclusionsType B proximal nerve resection allows for effective denervation reducing incidence of postoperative contraction (P = 0.004).

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