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Keywords:

  • breast reconstruction;
  • extended latissimus dorsi flap;
  • surgical technique;
  • wound dehiscence

Abstract

Background

The latissimus dorsi breast reconstruction flap has a number of advantages, but despite the advances in surgical techniques, it has remained vulnerable to skin dehiscence or necrosis at the donor site. We describe a novel surgical technique to prevent this.

Methods

Patients treated with extended latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction between January 2005 and January 2010 were studied prospectively.

Results

Eighteen patients were reviewed (12 immediate and 6 delayed). Two patients were smokers. The mean age was 54.4 (range: 42–64) years and the mean body mass index was 31.6 (range: 22.3–38). The mean weight of the mastectomy specimen was 551 g (range: 280–980 g). Six patients developed back seroma which required aspiration, and one patient developed a haematoma of the reconstructed breast. All wounds healed primarily.

Conclusion

The new technique is safe, simple and effective in avoiding wound dehiscence at the donor site after extended latissimus dorsi flap reconstruction.