Latissimus Dorsi Muscle Reconstruction

This procedure involves taking tissue from your back (including the latissimus dorsi muscle) and moving it to the chest where it is remodelled into your new breast. The technique can be used in combination with an implant or on its own. When a woman has had breast-conserving surgery and there is only a small defect in the breast to fill then a small part of the latissimus dorsi muscle can be used leaving the rest of the muscle in place.

Postoperative period

After the procedure, the patient awakes with dressings over the back and breast and tummy and will have surgical drains in both places. Dressings will be changed once or twice before you leave the hospital and again a few days after arriving home. (A physiotherapist will advise on exercises to avoid shoulder stiffness). A sports bra (no wires) should be worn for at least four weeks.

What you need to be aware of

There are pros and cons for latissimus dorsi muscle reconstruction:


  • The shape and “hang” of the breast produced with this technique are very good.
  • If no implant is used then the new breast will change weight, and therefore size and shape, as your weight changes, resulting in continued symmetry If no implant is used it will move and feel like your other breast.


  • It is a long procedure (5 hours) compared to implant only.
  • The hospital stay is 5-7 days.
  • Recovery 6 weeks to 3 months.
  • There is an extra scar on the back
  • The muscle may shrink with time, changing the shape of the reconstruction.

As with any surgical procedure, there can occasionally be complications; scarring, bleeding, infection, breast asymmetry, wound breakdown, seroma, shoulder stiffness, leg or lung clots, capsular formation and capsular contraction (if you have implants). The chances of any complication can be reduced by observing the postoperative recommendations above. Smoking is also a risk factor. This subject is always fully discussed during your initial consultation

Nights in hospital

Your length of stay would be 5-7 nights

Recovery time

6 weeks

Post operative bra

Should be worn for 4 weeks 24/7

Want to find out more?

Call our team on +441917203002