Are you happy withyour LD flap?

It seems to me that we get some very vocal posts from users who are unhappy with their LD flaps. As I am on the waiting list for this operation this makes me uneasy.

A common thread running through the unhappy posts seems to be that the surgery was performed by a breast surgeon rather than a plastic surgeon. Is this the case?

If your LD flap is performed by a respected plastic surgeon does that cut down the chances of it going wrong?

I know that the nature of these forums is that people only come on here when they have a problem, so if you have had an LD flap, who was the surgeon and are you happy with it?

Hi Roadrunner,
I had my LD flap in July 2008 and I am very happy with it.When I have a bra on or even a secret support top it looks just like my other breast.I am waiting on a nipple and some lipofilling.One thing I found hard to begin with is the muscle still moving as if it were in my back,but I have got used to that.Its soft and natural and wobbles like a real breast.I have the same levels of strength as I had before surgery but I am not the fittest person!
Mine was done by a very experienced breast surgeon.
Good luck,

Hi , I had LD flap in may of this year, and i am very happy with it, the op went smoothly no pain althought was fed lots of pain killers. Up in the week and although the reconnn one is smaller than the floopy one im very happy, going for uplift ,i think , im not going for gold, breast team , want to though pride in work ,

take carexx

Hi Road Runner, I had my LD Flap done 20 years ago by a very experienced breast surgeon. As well as using a muscle from my back they inserted an implant. All went well. I had no infections, the scaring is so pale and cannot be seen at all when wearing a low top or bra.
I did have my first implant removed about 3 years later as it had encapsulated and felt hard. So I underwent another operation that was much easier than the first one ( for me anyway) and you wouldn’t know it had been done again. Since then, no problems. A new type of implant was put in on 2nd op and again no ill effects. I had my first operation in June 1989 and returned to work around October that year. But my work mates were wonderful and let me in gently by looking after me. I am still very happy with the finished “product”. My boob is “warm” again and there is no discomfort at all. I am VERY pleased with my LD Flap and hope yoou will be too, Love Val X

I am also happy with my LD reconstruction. I had a mastectomy and an immediate recon in September 2008 at the Glasgow Canniesburn PS unit with both a breast surgeon and plastic surgeon working together. I do get a little ‘tight’ feeling across my back where the muscle was taken, but it’s not painful.
I have also had nipple reconstructed using the skin already there and you wouldn’t know any difference when clothed/swimming cossie. I didn’t bother with the nipple tattoo though because by then I’d had enough!

I hope everything goes well for you.


Hi Roadrunner,

My LD flap recon’s still a bit new (5 weeks ago) but I have to say I am pleased. It was done by a reputable reconstructive surgeon (I’m in Scotland), no problems at all, the op went very well and all is healing and settling down well. Only had one lot of fluid drained off my back.

It does seem to take a while to settle and any swelling to go down. I still have some discomfort and a little lumpy bit where the muscle was swung round and tunelled under the skin; not sure if this will go down or not.

I had to have a small implant as well, as there was insufficient tissue to give a good result without one. I would have preferred not to have it but trusted the surgeon on this one. My recon is a fraction bigger than my other breast (I think partly due to swelling), and it feels a bit heavy, tho’ I have heard you don’t notice this after a while. To be honest, I am still in the process of ‘making friends’ with it, as it still feels a bit strange.

As Dot says, the muscle used still acts like a muscle to some extent: I was rubbing moisturiser into my hip and my recon was jumping about a bit. Quite entertaining…!)

My scarring is healing well (Bio Oil is good) and I think the recon looks great. I will be having a nipple done later (my surgeon is a perfectionist and likes a job done properly!)

I know you are an active person. I was worried about being active afterwards but it is gradually getting better. It is important to your physio exercises each day, plus I am adding other stretches and doing tai chi to improve range of movement. Had a walk with my nordic poles recently and managed fine. I can’t advise you on the strength matter as yet; I believe some people do feel a bit of long lasting weakness.

I know some people have had some unpleasant experiences, and I think I have been lucky. I am grateful for that.

The other thing I should say, mine was done at the same time as my mastectomy, and I think that may make a difference.

Have you contacted anyone on the peer support network? I was really undecided about a recon and phoned BCC who arranged for someone who had had the op to contact me. I found it really helpful.

Good luck in your decision making, and I hope your mind will be put at rest.

With love

Hi all

Gardengirl, I wondered where you had your op done? I have just been given my appointment with surgeons at the Western General in Edinburgh.

Love to all

Shenagh x

I had LD flap (nipple and skin sparing with implants)immediate reconstruction on 3rd Nov 2009 and although it is still early days I am happy with the result. The operation took about 7 and a half hours, I had 8 drains and came out of hospital after about 10 days. Scarring is fading and the new boobs feel more real every day!

In fact, yesterday my lymphoedema nurse said that it was the best reconstruction she had ever seen!

The op was carried out by Mr Hiew who is a plastic & breast surgeon in Swansea. I strongly recommend him.


Thanks for all the positive comments. I am greatly reassured.

hi Roadrunner,

I had my ld flap operation done feb08 with small implant. It was done at the western general hospital in Edinburgh, my surgeon was Mike Dixon. I am sure he worked along side a plastic surgeon at the same time.

I am very happy with my new breast, it is soft and looks great, I have had my nipple and tattoo done.

Any questions please ask. I was full of questions and luckly had someone to talk to who had the same op done a few weeks before me.

If anyone want to talk, personel message me and I will give you my phone number.

Take care

Mike Dixon is a top surgeon and has had his pictures/results in CancerBackup as it was then called.

He is exceptional.


Message for She:

No, I had my recon at Raigmore, Inverness. Sorry can’t help with any info about Edinburgh Western General, although there seem to be some good comments about Mike Dixon who is there.

All the best,


Hi There

I think there are lots of factors which determine whether a woman is happy with her LD flap. I met 2 women who have had the same surgeon as me and we all have different results. One woman is delighted with her ld flap, even though it jumps, does not match the other boob and has no nipple. She can’t play tennis anymore but says she does not mind. She declares her OH thinks it’s wonderful and she is proud of it and feels that she has had a great job. The other has a better cosmetic result, no jumping but is upset because she dislikes te feel of the implant and it is slightly higher than the natural boob when naked and thick under her arm. It looks fantastic in a bra but she never used to wear them and hates feeling restricted. She will be having it revised, even though it is quite passable and way better than mine and the first womans.

I think the key is knowing what the problems with each type of reconstruction are, deciding whether the risk is worth the reward and knowing that if they occur how likely they are to adversely affect your quality of life. In my example one woman does not mind that she can’t play tennis whilst another is upset by having to wear a bra- we are all different!

The best leaflet I have ever seen on reconstruction (sorry BCC) is the Addenbrokes hospital one o Breast Reconstruction, there s another on Nipple Recon. They highlight problems you might have.

I have been impressed by some stories on this forum where surgeons have taken into consideration the woman’s lifestyle and that has been a factor in the type of recon. It seems to me that the people who are happiest are often DIEP flap patients, though for the slim ones that is not usually an option.

Wishing you all the best - it’s good that you are doing your research as you can make an informed choice.


Jane x

I agree with you that ladies who have either recon from the tummy are generally very pleased with the result. Unfortunately I have no tummy to use as I am very slim, even tho’ I am only a AA. but being small means I probably won’t need an implant (unless I want to increase my good side at the same time).

I have looked into it very carefully, and have read the book - Breast Reconstruction: Your Choice, but often the more you read the more questions you have.

RR - that’s true - you can overload the mind with booklets and brochures. sounds to me like you need a balance of written information and talking to and viewing other people’s results. Of course, it’s like everything with bc - very individual. Dahlia suggsested( i think) that the surgeon you are having is well respected .

BC Pals have a photo gallery - lots of us on there and you can view results. I think though that if you can see a “real one” that is best of all.

Best of luck and hope the result is brilliant.


Jane x

Jane x

Has anyone had experience of LD recon done in Bristol?

I am posting this on behalf of a new user, Lou

where does one find the BC Pals gallery?
I had a MX in aug with recon . I understand some ladies are happy with results and that some not so, Im back in on thurs cos i would like me be happier wiv my look…My recon side is slightly smaller with some wrinkles that have appeaered above breast.So we are going for a slightly larger implant to hopefully even me out and reduce the wrinkling…I feel if im happy with the way i look i can move on with my life.
Yes i understand we all have different expectations on how we look affecting how we feel.

You need to join the group to view the pics - just google it and you will find it.

All best wishes


And you need to post about 20 postings before being allowed to view pics.

i am a new user - I have just had a reconstruction LD flap on the 23rd November and so far i am finding it difficult. I have a surgery site infection - very red area. I am on antibiotics but am not sure yet if I will need more surgery and what what this will involve. the problem is that this is irraidated skin as I have alrady had radiotherapy in 2006 for the initial tumour - this current treatmetn is for a local recrrence of a Grade three triple negative BC.

I also feel that the recon is very uncomfortable - I can feel the liquid wehn I walk but I don’t know if this is to be expected or does this settle down with time? At the moment I can’t imagine ever being able to do a twenty mile walk. Does anyone have any experience of this?