Latissimus dorsi flap limitations?

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Question from LM Smith: I had a bilateral mastectomy two years ago. I had a consultation with a plastic surgeon who recommended the latissimus dorsi flap. I am a pianist and am concerned about back weakness or changes in my ability to play. Are you aware of any limitations with this type of surgery?
Answers - Carolyn Chang With any tissue, you are taking muscle from another site, so you will have some weakness in that area with a bilateral mastectomy. If your surgeon has recommended bilateral reconstruction with back flap, then for everyday activity I would not expect a huge limitation. However, when it's people who are very specialized or who do very competitive sports, I would anticipate that their strength would change. With bilateral mastectomies, however, if there has not been any radiation, oftentimes implants are really the best choice. I would definitely speak to your plastic surgeon about your concerns.

On Wednesday, April 20, 2005, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Reconstruction and Safe, Sexy CosmeticsCarolyn C. Chang, M.D., Anna-Dee Rinehart, S.C.S., and moderator Lillie Shockney, R.N., B.S., M.A.S. answered your questions about reconstructive surgery and safe, sexy cosmetics.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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