LD flap reconstruction vs implants


I had a masectomy in Febuary and wasn’t eligible for immediate reconstruction. 

Am now flat on one side. Am thinking about reconstruction. In my hospital they only do LD (using part of dorsal back muscle) reconstruction or implants. 

The idea of cutting off a piece of back muscle seems horrific but the surgeon in charge has a good reputation. Has anyone had this kind of reconstruction? I would be worried about chronic back pain. Apparently I would lose arm strength. Would love to hear other experiences of this type of surgery and if you were happy with the results. 

The other option is implants. At first I thought I would never want to do that to myself and would just accept being flat. Is anyone really comfortable in their body, as in not even noticing the implants and being able to do yoga and things like that without feeling discomfort?

Would really value any advice or ideas from ladies who have decided to go for reconstruction. 



Hi Emma - just thought I’d add my ‘two penneth’. I know of people who’ve had recon and implants.  Both options have had good outcomes. I had a right side mastectomy 4 years ago and, like you, was advised not to consider reconstruction or implant before treatment was complete.  I was also told that there was no time limit to consider a recon or implant.  When treatment finished and I felt properly recovered (probably a year or so), I was asked again at a check up appointment about recon.  I gave it lots of thought but decided I wasn’t prepared to put myself through surgery again.  I’m content with my lot - I wear a prothesis, which isn’t detectable when I’m dressed. I’m pretty active and it doesn’t impede my lifestyle.  The downside for me, is having limited and pricey options for bras, and having to be aware of necklines when shopping! I know staying ‘battle-scarred’ isn’t most people’s choice but just wanted to include it as a  third option.  Reassuringly, recon is still mentioned at check ups - so, my experience would suggest that perhaps you don’t have to make a decision just yet.

Hi, I had a left side mastectomy and LD reconstruction 3 weeks ago.  I had the choice of implant or LD, the implant would sit in a hammock under the skin - the downside would be rippling of the implant which would show through the skin. The surgeon suggested the LD, taking muscle from my back, bringing it through my underarm and putting in the front - everything stays connected so theres no need to reconnect blood supply etc. I wasnt able to keep the nipple as the cancer was connected, so instead of this I have a flat round piece of skin from my back (presumably with the muscle attached underneath).  I had two drains which stayed in for a week, and the dressings came off then too. I have good movement in my arms and more strength than I expected. Some parts of my back and new boob are still numb but feeling is coming back although it will take a few months, but all good. My underarm is swollen still from where they created a tunnel to bring the muscle through but again in time this will reduce. I have a foot long scar down my back which is healing surprisingly well, although I feel some discomfort as I move about depending on whether sitting, twisting etc but not constant. I manage this with Ibuprofen and paracetamol as advised by the hospital. No driving for 4-6 weeks and no heavy lifting (vaccuming included), walking as exercise is encouraged but nothing else active apart from personal life if you feel up to it! The only weird part is the muscle settling down in the front - so I might pick a plate up and feel a slight twitch on my chest, I suspect its just getting used to it/settling down. 

I hope I’ve given enough information to help you.