Autologous Breast Reconstruction with the Extended Latissimus Dorsi Flap


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

The extended latissimus dorsi myocutaneous flap can provide autogenous tissue replacement of breast volume without an implant. Nevertheless, experience with the extended latissimus dorsi flap for breast reconstruction is relatively limited. In this study, the authors evaluated their experience with the extended latissimus dorsi flap for breast reconstruction to better understand its indications, limitations, complications, and clinical outcomes. All patients who underwent breast reconstruction with extended latissimus dorsi flaps at the authors' institution between January of 1990 and December of 2000 were reviewed. During the study period, 75 extended latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstructions were performed in 67 patients. Bilateral breast reconstructions were performed in eight patients, and 59 patients underwent unilateral breast reconstruction. There were 45 immediate and 30 delayed reconstructions. Mean patient age was 51.5 years. Mean body mass index was 31.8 kg/m2. Flap complications developed in 21 of 75 flaps (28.0 percent), and donor-site complications developed in 29 of 75 donor sites (38.7 percent). Mastectomy skin flap necrosis (17.3 percent) and donor-site seroma (25.3 percent) were found to be the most common complications. There were no flap losses. Patients aged 65 years or older had higher odds of developing flap complications compared with those 45 years or younger (p = 0.03). Patients with size D reconstructed breasts had significantly higher odds of flap complications compared with those with size A or B reconstructed breasts (p = 0.05). Obesity (body mass index greater than or equal to 30 kg/m2) was associated with a 2.15-fold increase in the odds of developing donor-site complications compared with patients with a body mass index less than 30 kg/m2 (p = 0.01). No other studied factors had a significant relationship with flap or donorsite complications. In most patients, the extended latissimus dorsi flap alone, without an implant, can provide good to excellent autologous reconstruction of small to medium sized breasts. In selected patients, larger breasts may be reconstructed with the extended latissimus dorsi flap alone. This flap's main disadvantage is donor-site morbidity with prolonged drainage and risk of seroma. Patients who are obese are at higher risk of developing these donor-site complications. In conclusion, the extended latissimus dorsi flap is a reliable method for total autologous breast reconstruction in most patients and should be considered more often as a primary choice for breast reconstruction.

    loading  Loading Related Articles