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Following a mastectomy, patients often feel incomplete and self-conscious about their bodies. Latissimus dorsi flap is a reconstructive breast surgery that transplants skin, tissue and blood vessels from the upper back to the chest in order to recreate the breast mound.

At his Northern Mississippi practice, board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Dan Shell routinely performs latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction on women who have undergone a mastectomy. Using this surgical procedure, Dr. Shell can construct a new, natural-looking breast.


Breast reconstruction is a very personalized procedure. You may be a potential candidate for the latissimus dorsi flap procedure if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • You would like a more realistic reconstruction than implant only
  • You have had a considerable amount of previous abdominal surgery
  • You would like to avoid abdominal scars or risk reducing your abdominal strength
  • You do not have enough abdominal fat to match the remaining breast
  • You possess good overall physical and mental health

Latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstruction may not be appropriate for everyone. If Dr. Shell determines the latissimus dorsi flap technique is the right procedure for you, he will work with you to design a personalized surgical plan that will fit your cosmetic needs.


There are numerous factors to consider before committing to any surgical procedure. Below is a list of frequently asked questions about latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstruction in our Northern Mississippi plastic surgery office:

  • What happens during latissimus dorsi flap surgery?

    The entire procedure is usually performed within two to three hours and requires general anesthesia. A section of tissue will be removed from the donor site just beneath your shoulder blade and transplanted to your chest wall. The donor site’s blood supply, which will remain intact, will then be tunneled beneath the skin to the chest area, where a new breast mound will be formed. If desired, an implant can be placed under the soft tissue created from the latissimus dorsi flap.

  • What should I expect during the recovery process?

    Latissimus dorsi flap surgery requires a one-to-three day inpatient stay immediately following surgery. Once you have been discharged, you may need help getting around for the first few days. The recovery process can last three to six weeks. Following recovery, Dr. Shell may determine that additional revision or touch up procedures are necessary.

  • Are additional procedures required?

    Latissimus dorsi flap surgery is often the first step in the reconstructive process. Additional procedures, such as breast implant placement using a tissue expander or nipple and areola reconstruction, may be performed at a later date. Dr. Shell will be able to determine when these additional reconstructive procedures can be scheduled.

  • Are there any risks associated with latissimus dorsi flap?

    As with any surgical procedure, there is a degree of risk and uncertainty associated with latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction. Dr. Shell will discuss these risks with you prior to surgery. Some risks may include adverse reactions to anesthesia, infection, excessive bleeding, seroma, and flap failure.

  • Why should I choose Dr. Shell for latissimus dorsi flap?

    During your consultation, Dr. Shell will listen carefully to your concerns, ensuring that all treatments are customized to meet your goals. He uses the latest technology in a comfortable and confidential setting. Dr. Shell is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and The American Board of Surgery. He is also a member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.


Are you interested in learning more about latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction in Northern Mississippi? Dr. Dan Shell is a board certified plastic surgeon with offices in Oxford, MS. Contact us by calling 662-236-6465 to set up a consultation today.