We are proud to offer several types of breast reconstruction at The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery. Our ultimate goals are to help women restore their sense of self, well-being, sensuality and femininity during this difficult time while helping to maximize the aesthetic outcome as well.
Dr Jeremy Williams and Dr Christopher Williams offer the latest, state-of-the-art techniques in breast reconstruction, including autologous tissue breast reconstruction. Autologous tissue is tissue used from a patient’s own body — most commonly, the fat, skin, and muscle. The tissue is taken in the form of a flap — a flap being that skin, fat, and muscle taken from one area of the body and relocated to another location on the body, carrying its own blood supply. There are two forms of flaps used today in breast reconstruction: Pedicled and Free Flaps.
A Pedicled Flap is a piece of tissue that has been rotated or moved from its original location to reconstruct a defect nearby, without losing that blood supply. No microsurgery is typically needed. These flaps were developed about 30 years ago and are still good choices in breast reconstruction for specific patients.
A Free Flap is a flap whose blood supply is cut to move the tissue a longer distance for relocation. The blood supply (artery and vein) must be reconnected to new blood vessels, using a microscope, once the flap is placed in its new location. Free flaps are newer techniques, developed about 20 years ago. Free flaps are frequently used in breast reconstruction.
How a Latissimus Flap Is Performed
Dr Jeremy Williams and Dr Christopher Williams use microsurgical techniques to move free flaps and reconnect the blood supply. The surgeons us an operating microscope is to improve visibility and aid in proper technique when suturing the 1 to 3 millimeter veins and arteries of the flap to the chest during breast reconstruction. Without reconnecting the blood supply, the tissue would not survive.
Perforator-based microsurgical reconstruction is the most current and state-of-the-art technique in breast reconstruction. It uses both muscle-sparing and nerve-sparing techniques in an effort to limit the damage to donor sites. At these donor sites, only the artery and veins (these are the blood vessels which “perforate” the muscles) are harvested. The muscles are left in place. Often nerves can be spared as well.
These meticulous techniques take additional time and effort during surgery, but the surgeons at The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery feel it is important to limit the damage to donor sites (the location of the body from which the flap is taken) in breast reconstruction whenever possible. The less a patient’s donor site is damaged, the faster the patient recovers.
An Alternative to DIEP Reconstruction
The DIEP Flap is the preferred method for autologous breast reconstruction performed at The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery. However, some patients are poor candidates for this operation.
The Latissimus Flap is an older method of breast reconstruction, but still an excellent option for patients today. The Latissimus Flap is a Pedicled-Flap technique which uses the skin, fat, and a part or all of latissimus muscle from one side of the back. The flap is dissected and then relocated to the chest wall to reconstruct the breast.
Usually the Latissimus is a good option for patients with limited donor sites, such as the abdomen or buttock. It is also a good choice for patients with damage to one breast from radiation. Unfortunately, the Latissimus Flap takes an important muscle in the back in an effort to protect and provide a blood supply to the tissue relocated in the breast. However, the donor site and loss of this specific muscle is tolerated well in most patients. Often, patients will also require a breast implant placed under the Latissimus Flap to attain the desired breast volume.
Latissimus Flap Candidates
There are several factors which help qualify a woman to undergo the Latissimus Flap method of breast reconstruction. Your surgeon will help go through the different options for you during your consultation at The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery and ultimately determine if you are a candidate for the Latissimus Flap.
Women who are the best candidates for the Latissimus Flap are women who desire to have reconstruction and do not have extra tissue, skin, and fat in their lower abdomen or buttock to use as a donor site. The Flap is also a good choice for patients who may have one breast that has been affected by prior radiation therapy.
These women understand the risks associated with all flap techniques. They have determined that the Latissimus Flap offers the best options for them personally and realize it will likely produce a more natural, longer-lasting result than other methods of reconstruction, including implant-based reconstruction. These women usually have few serious medical problems and have enough emotional strength and support to be able to cope with the possible loss of a flap (less than 3% risk of flap loss).
Dr Jeremy Williams and Dr Christopher Williams are passionate about helping educate the women in Colorado and across the United States and are offer this procedure in partnership with Skyridge Medical Center.
Contact our Denver Breast Reconstruction Surgeons
Please fill out the form on this page or call The Breast Center Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery at 720-457-4461 to schedule a one-on-one consultation to learn about the Latissimus Flap and other breast reconstruction options. Dr. Jeremy Williams and Dr. Christopher Williams serve patients in Denver and all of Colorado from our facility in Lone Tree.