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Can You Revise a Short Scar Brachioplasty Gone Horribly Wrong?

Doctor Answers (11)

Scar revisions for brachioplasty

You are definitely a candidate for scar revision following your brachioplasty.  Allow your incisions to heal from the first surgery for at least a few months before undergoing the second operation.  

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Can you revise a short scar brachioplasty gone wrong?

    From the photo, it appears that you have had a wound separation, called a wound dehiscence.  This can be corrected and the desired outcome still achieved, but not right away.  Causes of the separation include tension, infection, smoking, and poor surgical planning.  It is best to allow for wound healing to proceed until the wound is stable, without any sign of infection, and the arm tissues are pliable enough to be put back together after the wound is excised.  With proper wound care, these wounds heal quickly and the revision may be possible in several weeks to months.

John Zavell, MD, FACS
Toledo Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Wound Separation & Breakdown Following Brachioplasty


Wound separation is one of the more common complications associated with brachioplasty. This complication can occur for a variety of reasons including tension on the wound closure, infection, diabetes, smoking, inappropriate activity levels and thin medial arm tissue.

                  When wound breakdown occurs, a variety of treatment options exist. The exact procedures chosen is dependent upon the anatomic deformity encountered. In most cases, wounds are allowed to heal with dressing changes before surgical revision is undertaken. Surgical revision shouldn’t be undertaken for at least six months following surgery.

                  Your pictures suggests a significant wound separation that will most likely require mobilization of skin flaps for closure. In this situation, a normal arm contour may require extending your current incisions. Utilizing this approach, a reasonably good result is still within the realm of possibility. 

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

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Healing and later extension if possible




Your possibilities for revision depend upon how much laxity there is in the areas around the wound after it heals and softens. As long was your mobility is not affected, I would wait until the scar matured.


Best Regards,


John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Wound separation following a short scar upper arm lift


You have had separation of your incision which will take some time to heal. Typically, I would wait at least 6 months before considering a revision. Smoking and diabetes are some of the issues that can lead to what you have experience.

I would suggest following up closely with your plastic surgeon and making sure that he/she understands your concerns.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Revision of short scar brachioplasty


Revisions are possible.  However, you need to give time to allow the wound/incision to heal.  In addition, you need to give time for the local inflammation and swelling to settle.  Generally, I recommend waiting at least 6 months before considering a scar revision.  Remember, a scar revision does not erase the scar.  It replaces an undesirable scar with hopefully a better looking or better camouflaged scar.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Wound healing complications after arm lifting


I am sorry for what you are going through.  When results are less than ideal, we are as heartbroken as our patients.  The first priority is wound healing through local wound care and antibiotics as directed by your surgeon.  Once this has healed and the scars have softened (anywhere from 9-12 months after wound closure & healing), a scar revision can be undertaken.  Hang in there.  It is very likely that your surgeon has a plan to improve your result dramatically.

Allan J. Parungao, MD
Oak Brook Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Short scar brachioplasty


IT appears that you have a wound separation. Although common sense might tell you to close it up , that could result in a worse problem. Generally, it is nbest to allow it to heal with proper wound care and then pursue definitive treatment as guidied by your surgeon.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Severe Complication of Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)


Truly sorry for what you are going through. From the picture you provided it seems the tissues in the center died, the wound has separated and you have a redness which may be associated with a rumbling infection. With proper care the infection, if there is one, will be treated. You will then need to care for the wound until all the not-so-healthy tissues are removed and a nice, red wound bed appears. Such a wound can then heal by itself in a matter of several weeks.

I would advise you to wait 8 months or so until the tissues are soft and pliable before embarking on a revision surgery. If you are a smoker or exposed to smoke - Don't. If you are a diabetic - your diabetes needs to be carefully controlled. Then, when you are ready and your tissues are ready, the scars can be excised and the Arm Lift revised with a MUCH better success rate and appearance.

Good Luck.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Revision brachioplasty


You can do a revision after the separated edges have closed up and the tissues have settled down.  This usually takes 4-6 months.  At that point some sort of revision can be done depending on what you wind up with.  Maybe revisit your doctor and a couple of others and see what they suggest.  Short scar brachioplasties really don't work very well in my opinion and you might need to convert to a traditional one and accept the longer scar.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.