LD Flap Reconstruction Discomfort


I would love to hear from anyone who has had an LD Flap reconstruction to find out how they feel.

I had a mastectomy and immediate LD Flap reconstruction two and a half years ago and I still feel discomfort every day, some days more than others, and I don’t know if this is normal.  It’s a horrible tight feeling all the way down my side where the muscle has been stretched from.  I can’t fault how my reconstructed boob looks, it looks just like my other one, but I hate the way it makes me feel.  I didn’t think I would still feel like this after two and a half years.

Anyone out there who has had this type of reconstruction - please let me know your experiences.

Linda x

Hi Linda,

So sorry you are feeling uncomfortable, I have a lot of sympathy for you, unfortunately I’m 5 years down the line and still very uncomfortable with back pain most days, I had my surgery in my local hospital, however, after lots of problems…transferred to Guys one of the nurses was telling me they don’t do this LD flap due to back pain ??..so sorry I don’t have better news for you.

Wishing you well, and keep moving and stretching. Big hugs from me 

Sorry this is not a more positive reply, x

Hi Linda,

I had this is 2017. I did my physio religiously after the op and continue to do lots of yoga and general stretching. I’ve not had the sort of trouble you describe, but I am not strong like I used to be. I find pulling difficult - eg. Pulling when gardening. I also get a crampy feeling sometimes, as if the area where the muscle used to be is locking. It’s a weird and intense feeling and hard to describe.

Before lock down I was having deep tissue massage every 2 months or so, and that too has made a massive difference. Knots form around the scar tissue and these have been successfully broken down by the massages. So I  would highly recommend this once you can have massages again.

Unfortunately the absence of that bit of muscle in the back can lead to other problems with other areas of the back and shoulder compensating. But I firmly believe that the combo of regular remedial massage (not the relaxing kind you get from salons, but from a therapist who understands anatomy) and stretching/yoga with an emphasis on rebuilding strength, will help hugely.

None of the above is a quick fix, but things to build into your life. My fear is that without doing these things, by body would suffer longer term negative effects from the loss of that LD muscle.

I’ve switched to a fantastic yoga teacher on YouTube. Her classes are free, for every level, and of varying length. 


Good luck and keep strong

Hi Linda,  I had my LD flap surgery 20 months ago and in constant pain.  My neck, boob, shoulder and arm hurt so much.  My arm feels heavy and aches.  I was very active prior to my surgery doing 4/5 classes a week.  Have tried to return to exercise but it’s causing me so much pain my breast clinic have said I’m doing too much.  Do you take any pain relief as I’m trying to avoid it but don’t think I can any longer thanks xx


I’m a bit late on this one, but haven’t been on here for years.

Many people have LD flaps and they are brilliant for most, but a few of us have challenges.
I have had discomfort since I had cancer in my reconstructed (LD flap) breast with implant.  So, not quite the same circumstances as Linda17 and my reconstruction doesn’t look good because it has a bit taken our of it from the other cancer, but sharing this as it might be the same feeling
To me, it is like wanting to ‘take it off’ to rest.  The feeling I have is like a really tight band and I must admit to sometimes just wanting to get home to take off my bra - hoping that helps a bit (it doesn’t really, but the psychological of being less restricted helps a bit) 

I have lived with it now for 12 years and tried every sort of stretching/soft tissue massage/ignoring it/exercising more/exercising less.  I’m fed up, so (encouraged by my daughter who was 18 when I had it done and is now a wise adult) I’ve gone back to my Dr.  I always felt grateful for being alive, and not entitled to feel any more comfortable, which my daughter has coached me on.  I am currently in the queue to discuss whether I can have it taken away and replaced with a DIEP flap (helped by the fact that I am a few kilos heavier, so have got a bit of spare tummy :)).

So, if it is still uncomfortable, I would encourage you let someone know and see if there is anything that can be offered.  I wish now that I hadn’t left it so long