Tests and treatments

Breast reconstruction using large back muscle

What is it?

In a few cases, you have the option of breast reconstruction using a pedicled skin and muscle flap from the back. Usually, the amount of skin on the back that can be used for breast construction is limited. This flap can only be used for people who have considerable fat on their back and relatively small breasts. If the required breast volume exceeds the available tissue on the back, this technique can be combined with the placement of an internal prosthesis. In this case, the implant is inserted and fully covered by the muscle component of the flap. The skin component of the flap serves to reconstruct the skin envelope of the breast.


In a flap reconstruction, scars are inevitable. The scar of the latissimus dorsi flap is located on the back, but it can be sucessfully concealed beneath the bra strap. A back muscle is sacrificed but the impact on shoulder function is relatively limited (except for very sporty people).

If the latissimus dorsi flap must be combined with an implant, the same disadvantages mentioned above apply. However, the flap covering the implant offers a certain amount of protection, which means that complications such as capsular contraction, infection or implant extrusion occur less frequently.

Centres and specialist areas

Breast Centre
Integrated Cancer Centre in Ghent
Plastic Surgery

Latest publication date: 05/02/2021
Supervising author: Dr Elzo Kraemer Ximena, Dr Vertriest Rudolf