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Under Arm/arm Pit Swelling After Removal of Fatty Breast Tissue? (Photos)

On 12/13/12 (about 3 wks ago), my doctor cut away a section of hanging/flabby skin under my arm (near pit) that was about 3"x4". He also removed fatty tissue. He did incision underarm vs arm lift so less invasive. Still have a "glob" of swelling. Last week, he drained it via needle, got about 3-4 ounces out. I wear a homemade compression garment about 8 hrs/day. WILL THIS SWELLING GLOB GO AWAY eventually? How long will it take? Permanent? Should we do a traditional arm lift (w/ long scar?)

Doctor Answers (6)

Complication after Arm Lift?

+1

Thank you for the question and pictures.

Based on the description of the events, it sounds like you developed a fluid accumulation (seroma  or hematoma) after surgery. Often, these types of fluid accumulations will recur and may require several needle aspirations.

Only after the fluid accumulation has resolved and your skin has redraped fully should you evaluate the end results of the procedure (3 to 6 months after surgery) and determine whether you are pleased or whether additional surgery may be helpful to you.

 Best wishes.


San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 680 reviews

Under Arm/arm Pit Swelling After Removal of Fatty Breast Tissue?

+1

Thanks for the before and after photos. You have 2 issues. The swelling is a seroma/hematoma or could be residual tissue not removed. It usually corrects with good post op care as with aspiration and compression. The second is choosing a short cut operation when you needed a full arm lifting operation. Best to discuss with your chosen surgeon or obtain in person second opinions. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

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Underarm swelling??

+1

 
Thank you for your question and for the posted photos. I am having a bit of trouble determining what sort of operations you have had. It looks like you have had a breast lift, but what if anything was done on the arms I am uncertain.

Some pre-op photos would be helpful.

This looks more like loose hanging skin, and I don't expect that resolution of any swelling will make this look better. An arm lift will be the solution. All of this is based on the after photo alone. The suggestions based on an actual exam might well be different.

Best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Arm surgery

+1

From the pictures of the arm the mass could have been accessory breast, or fatty collection.

You had fluid collection after the surgery (seroma). You may have some more fluid collection and needs to be drained.

Meanwhile you need to be wearing a vest with half sleeves to put some compression on the arms. Once the swelling is completely gone then re-evaluate the skin and if you need skin tightening.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Swelling vs Loose Skin after Arm Lift

+1

     If you do not have buildup of an additional fluid collection in the picture, then you will probably need an extended arm lift.  I usually perform this procedure just to the level that the skin laxity improves.  In you, this is about 1/3 of the way down your arm.

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

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